If the appeal made by the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) Chairman, Dr. P. Tamilvanan, to Kongo region EXIM players and CONCOR is taken in the right sprit, the region would get rail connectivity for ferrying containers soon.
Addressing the gathering of exporters and importers during the Logistic Summit and B2C Connect 2013, organised here on April 20 by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the NMPT Chairman made the fervent appeal to the regional players to use New Mangalore Port, as the multi-cargo facility recently launched has a direct service to Dubai.
It may be noted here that most of the cargo from the region destined for Dubai is now exported via Cochin Port due to better connectivity on road as well as rail (through CONCOR).
Quickly reacting to the proposal put forward by the NMPT top brass at the meet, Mr. N. Sreekumar, CONCOR’s Chief General Manager for Southern Region, (during his presentation later in the day) announced that CONCOR will not hesitate to launch a service between Coimbatore and the New Mangalore Port Trust if demand arises.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh most of the participants at the Logistics Summit expressed that the service would be a real boon for the trade from the Kongu region which normally depends on three ports – Chennai, Tuticorin and Cochin – for all export and import needs.
However, a few participants voiced apprehension that such a service may not be a reality given the CONCOR’s failed commitment for regular services to Cochin and Chennai ports from Coimbatore in the past.
During the general interaction of EXIM players with the officials that followed after the inaugural session, one of the participants asked the CONCOR official to come clean on their commitment for fixed services from the region, so they can plan their export accordingly.
Clearing misconceptions and compulsions on CONCOR among the trade, Mr. Sreekumar said: “We indeed had regular fixed services to Cochin and Chennai from Coimbatore in the past. But, CONCOR was forced to make it as on-demand service after poor patronage that led to loss of amount to the tune of several crores.”
He also tried to drive home the message among the regional EXIM players that CONCOR means business and sought their patronage to convert the existing on-demand services to regular fixed services with assured containers.
While Mr. Sreekumar tried his level best to explain the prevailing situation and the options before CONCOR, participants remained skeptical and appealed to him to first begin regular services (even though it makes losses) to get captive cargo from the region.