Saturday, November 16, 2013

Freight costs to Mumbai, Kandla ports to come down sharply


Freight costs for movement of goods from the hinterland in North India to Mumbai and Kandla ports are likely to come down sharply with the commissioning of the Mumbai-Delhi freight corridor by 2017,  Mr. Amitab Kant, Managing Director of the Corridor, has said.

Currently 80 per cent of the freight in this region moves by road and once this corridor is commissioned the traffic will shift entirely to the rail mode, he said adding that it took nearly 14 days for a truck, on an average, carrying goods from North India to reach the Mumbai Port. The corridor will ensure that the distance is covered within 14 hours, he said while addressing a seminar got up by the National Association of Container Freight Stations.

The National Association of Container Freight Stations was founded in April 1994 in the Union Territory of Chandigarh with less than 10 members. The current strength of the association is around 90 members. The association had its annual general body meeting in the capital earlier this month. Along with the AGM, it also organized a seminar which was addressed by officials of the Government of India, including the Union Commerce Ministry.

The seminar was addressed among others by Mr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI and Mr. J. K. Dadoo, Joint Secretary, Commerce Ministry. The seminar was inaugurated by Ms. Praveen Mahajan, Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Mr. Kant said seven large industrial centres will come up along the corridor in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Four large logistic parks are planned to come in the corridor including the world’s largest logistic park at Rewari in a 1000-acre area. One hundred million jobs are expected to be generated when the corridor is commissioned.

If India has to emerge as an industrialized nation, manufacturing sector has to grow at 14 per cent for at least three decades. Japan’s industrial progress followed the setting up of Tokyo Osaka Nagoya corridor. South Korea also set up the Asian corridor before it emerged as an industrial giant of Asia. The Mumbai-Delhi and Amritsar-Calcutta corridor will spur the growth of manufacturing sector in India.

Mr. Dadoo added that the Chennai Port is seriously hit by congestion since connectivity continues to be a serious problem. It is time that the port administration addressed the chronic problem on a war-footing.

He said as many as 17 container freight stations for which the inter-ministerial committee had given the letter of intent several years ago in Tamil Nadu are yet to take off. The industry must ponder over why these freight stations have not come up. As many as 188 container freight stations are operating in the country.

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