Kerala Maritime Board, is in discussion with vessel operators, to re-start short sea shipping by offering special incentives to Exim trade and vessel operators.

Shine A.Haq, CEO, KMB pointed out that lack of draft at the minor ports of Beypore and Azheekal is a hindrance to attract new services. KMB will organise trade meets to understand the needs of the trading community and provide necessary space at various minor ports. 

He was speaking at the joint session -- Centre of Excellence in Logistics & Supply Chain Management – organised by NIT Calicut in association with Kerala Exporters Forum, under the flagship programme, PM Gati Shakthi.

Hameedali, President, KEF requested government initiatives to bring back the coastal shipping service to decongest the roads, save from carbon emission pollution, and curb road accidents. Non-availability of empty boxes for exports from Beypore is a concern along with high ocean freight rates and high handling charges at Cochin Port. Exporters’ forum submitted representation to the Centre to bring down both air and sea freight rates.

Munshid Ali, Secretary, Kerala Exporters Forum voiced concerns over non utilisation of the facilities at minor ports and urged the Maritime Board to initiate coastal services to connect Exim and domestic cargo movement through Beypore and Azheekal ports.

Ashwin George, Joint commissioner of Customs, Cochin, informed that they are equipped with EDI facilities at Beypore, Kollam and Azheekal ports. RODTEP and drawback returns can be given for cargo moving through these ports. He urged trade and industries to make use of the faceless assessment systems, and also to register for AEO and DPD status so that dual time and cost will be reduced drastically for Exim cargo.

The two-hour session ended with positive notes on the upcoming Vizhinjam International Transhipment Port which will help to get better and faster services from shipping lines with low cost and low transit. 

Prakash Iyer, Chairman, Cochin Port Users Forum moderated the session.