Maersk creates fast, reliable Inland Container Services between India-Bangladesh

Maersk has successfully transported 50 containers (TEUs or Twenty Feet Equivalent Units) of Coca-Cola Bangladesh Beverages using the inland waterways of the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route-marking it as the first India-Bangladesh cross-border logistics of containerised cargo.

The cargo travelled from Kolkata in India to a river port near Dhaka in Bangladesh on a barge on the National Waterways 1 on the India side, Maersk has created a new opportunity for customers to use the faster, more reliable inland waterways solution that connects the two countries.

“The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route has created a great trade opportunities for the two countries over the last decades. By advancing into containerised transport on this route, we are expanding the opportunities for importers and exporters from the two countries with a faster, more reliable and safer option for their cargo”, said Vikash Agarwal, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia, in a statement.

Leveraging Inland Waterways or rivers for the transportation of cargo seems a more reliable option then the ocean, especially during the monsoon when the turbulent weather is likely to cause delays. The Inland waterways have proven to be a more quicker and more reliable option for shippers, while the ocean networks run under capacity pressure. It has also come as a solution addressing the bottleneck at the land border between the two countries.

“The maiden barge voyage has been successfully executed where there has been a significant reduction of transit time. The delivery schedule of the cargo, which used to be routed through the transhipment hub and then arrive in Chittagong and further to the destination, used to be impacted severely with delays. The speed of delivery with the new solution offered by Maersk over inland waterways is going to be extremely beneficial for us”

Soumyendu Sen Sarma, Director – Finance, Coca-Cola Bangladesh Beverages

“Our solution to move cargo across the Indo-Bangladesh border has a saving of over 60% in terms of transit time. In addition to the faster mode of transport, we are able to give end-to-end visibility to our customers through Daily Status Reports, which give a comparison between the estimated timelines against actual timelines. The negligible variations in these comparisons prove high reliability and have been thoroughly appreciated by our customers,”

Angshuman Mustafi, Head of Maersk Bangladesh.

Long encouraging the trade between Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route,  the governments of both the nations have recently strengthened the customs processes further to enhance the ease of doing business.

Along with benefitting the trade between India and Bangladesh, the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route also extends the connection to landlocked Bhutan. With the option of providing an end-to-end integrated logistics solution, Maersk’s customers can move their cargo from origin to destination using first-mile and last-mile services, including landside transportation by road or rail, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution, supply chain management etc.

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