Short-haul coastal container feeder service to be launched between Chennai and Puducherry

The Sagarmala Scheme has been a working towards infrastructure creation and development in Indian ports and shipping industry. Under the Scheme, an initiative aimed at augmented use of water to transport freight across the country has been launched yesterday – the short haul coastal container feeder service. The initiative that will connect ports of Chennai and Puducherry will also reduce road congestion and to infuse industrial development in the Union Territory.

The first feeder ship with a container capacity of 106 TEUs at DP World Container Terminal was flagged from the Chennai Port to Pondicherry Port by Sunil Palliwal, Chairman of the Chennai Port Authority. 

The authorities are looking to develop Puducherry as a satellite port to Chennai Port for container cargo and to cater to exports and imports to/from Puducherry. It will also be connecting parts of the hinterland extending to Cuddalore and Nagapattinam in South East, Trichy and Villupuram in South, and Salem and Namakkal in West.

Though the MoU between the two ports was signed in 2017, a change in weather conditions resulted in siltation at the Puducherry Port, due to which boats could not gain entrance. To tackle the situation, port authorities commissioned the task of deepening of the sea mouth entrance at Puducherry, which is now complete.

Pondicherry Port is Customs ICEGATE enabled with quick EXIM clearance facility and port warehouse containing stuffing and de-stuffing facility, and will eliminate road congestion and pollution. 

“It accepts hazchem & DG & class C cargo in containers, reefer containers, and geared vessel. The feeder service will also result in reduction in container transportation charges and increase the volume of cargo from Puducherry Port and its hinterland without road congestion to Chennai Port,” said an official at the Puducherry Port.

The short haul service between the two ports, said to be the first, will help the trade to take delivery of boxes through Direct Port Delivery and Direct Port Entry. This 12-hour service facilitates quick direct transit to terminal at Chennai and Pondicherry ports. This service also reduces container transportation charges and is expected to increase the volume of cargo from Pondicherry and its hinterland without road congestion to Chennai port.

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