Logistics

Coastal shipping crucial for steel sector : Birender Singh

Ch. R. S Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 01, 2017

Coastal shipping is crucial for the growth of the steel sector and the economy in general, as logistics cost can be reduced drastically and the industry can be made more competitive, according to Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh.

He was speaking in the Visakhapatnam port on Wednesday evening after flagging off the first coastal consignment of the Visakhapatnam steel plant - Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited bound for Kochi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. SSL Sabarimalai was carrying the steel products to the destinations.

The Steel Minister said it was "a commendable initiative by the RINL" and "the RINL is favourably placed for coastal shipment of products and also for exports. The capacity of the plant is being increased substantially and therefore there will be greater dependence on coastal shipping."

He said there was great scope for developing coastal steel clusters in the country and to increase exports to other countries. "India has the potential to become a major exporter of steel in the global market," he added.

He further said the synergies between the steel, ship-building and automobile sectors should be fully exploited by making use of coastal shipping. A study had shown that the country could save up to Rs 35,000 crores per annum by coastal shipping of commodities, he said. He described coastal shipping as "cheap, eco-friendly, energy-efficient and relatively safe mode of transport."

Union Minister for Shipping and Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari, who participated in the function from New Delhi via video conference facility, said the logistics cost in the country at 18-19 per cent was too high in comparison with China's 10 per cent and Europe's 12 per cent. It can be, and should be, brought down through coastal shipping. It would make steel and other industries more competitive.

RINL Chairman and Managing Director P. Madhusudan, who welcomed the guests, said it was a historic moment for the RINL and the steel sector in the country. Visakhapatnam port chairman M.T Krishnababu and others spoke.

Published on November 01, 2017
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