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Kolkata, Nov. 29

Despite not-so-good start of the season largely due to bad weather hitting crops in the beginning of the year, the tea shipments through Amingaon ICD (inland container depot) this fiscal might be around the last year's level of 2,954 TEUs, according to Container Corporation of India (Concor), responsible for the transportation of tea exports in container trains between the ICD and the Kolkata port.

Till November 23, this year, the throughput was 1,609 TEUs as against 1,755 TEUs in the same period last year.

“We are short by around 150 TEUs so far, but we are hopeful of making up the shortfall during the remainder of the season”, observed Concor sources.

There are several reasons for the optimism.

First, there is no dearth of tea.

“The transit godowns at Amingaon are choc-a-bloc with tea packets for exports”, the sources said.

rake availability

Also, the rake availability is adequate. “We're running three dedicated rakes on the circuit and, in addition, the empties are available at the ICD. We need not wait for full rake formation”.

Most important, the tea circles are bullish about the export prospects, it was pointed out.

McLeod Russel continues to be the largest exporter through the Amingaon ICD.

Till now, its share is 1,083 TEUs or 67 per cent of the total.

However, the corresponding figure for the last year was 1,263 TEUs.

Among the shipping lines, Shipping Corporation of India tops the list, with a share of 45 per cent (720 TEUs).

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 30, 2010)
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