First direct box vessel to Bangladesh sets sail from Krishnapatnam Port

G Naga Sridhar Nellore | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 28, 2016

MV Harbour-1 berths at Krishnapatnam port marking launch of direct shipping service between India and Bangladesh K RAVIKUMAR

Vessels of both countries to be treated as domestic ones

The first direct container vessel between India and Bangladesh carrying cotton set sail from here to Chittagong on Monday.

The vessel, MV Harbour-1, owned by Neepa Paribahan of Bangladesh was formally flagged off as part of a coastal shipping agreement signed by India and Bangladesh during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh in June, 2015.

Trade potential

Anil Yendluri, CEO of Krishnapatnam Port, said on the occasion that the port was aiming to become the gateway port to Bangladesh in addition to being a transshipment port.

The trade potential with Bangladesh is huge, he said adding that cotton, tobacco and cement, among others, being produced in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, offer good scope for bilateral trade.

Till now, shipments from Indian ports to Bangladesh were routed either via Colombo or Singapore. To facilitate easy trade, many existing norms were relaxed by both countries as part of the pact.

Traffic congestion

The vessels of both the countries will be treated as domestic vessels upon entry. This will address traffic congestion at Petrapole in India and Benapole in Bangladesh, the border points. The port dues to be charged will also be at par with those being charged for Indian vessels. This will reduce cost per container unit by over 25 per cent. The time taken for shipment to Bangladesh will come down from 10 to 15 days to five days, he said.

Lot of cargo moving from India to Dhaka on road, which takes up to 30 days , could also come via sea route now in view of these advantages. Bangladesh mainly imports raw cotton, cotton, steel, tyres and minerals, among others, which are valued at $6 billion per annum. It exports goods worth half a billion US dollars which include textile yarn, fish, mineral fuels, cement, bran and husk.

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Published on March 28, 2016
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