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Home News Game-changer for Indian box trade: HMM opens long-haul access for Kolkata shippers...

Game-changer for Indian box trade: HMM opens long-haul access for Kolkata shippers relying on transshipment

In a game-changing move for Indian containerised trade, South Korean carrier HMM has begun connecting freight out of India’s east coast Kolkata Port – generally tethered to the transshipment mode over Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port or Singapore -- on its regular calls at Kattupalli Port in southern India.

HMM has two weekly long-haul connections out of Kattupalli: FIL (Far East-India-Latin America) and CIX (China-India Express).

“To strengthen our product offerings ex Kolkata, we are pleased to announce our partnership with VIMC,” HMM said in an announcement.

The carrier also noted, “This collaboration will enable us to provide a regular service for the exim [export/import] requirements, connecting Kolkata to Kattupalli for onward connections to the main line vessel.”

With this new service, HMM said it can now offer the trade in the Kolkata region extensive access to all major ports in Asia, Latin America and North America.

The company's strategy revolves around cargo aggregation at one major port, which arguably helps it not only maximise capacity utilisation, but also save on port charges -- the latter aspect is often seen as prohibitive in comparison to other hub ports in the region.

Kolkata containers are feedered to Kattupalli for onward mainline connections.

HMM pointed out, “This new partnership [with VIMC] is a testament to our commitment to providing our customers with comprehensive and efficient shipping solutions. Our goal is to offer our customers a seamless experience, and this new service will enable us to do just that.”

“With our renewed focus on Kolkata, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, and we look forward to serving our customers better than ever before,” HMM noted.

Kattupalli is a deep-water private harbour, near Chennai, operated by the Adani Group.  The port has seen significant growth in recent months, chipping away at volumes moving through Chennai port, which has perennial congestion issues.

According to new data obtained by Container News, Kattupalli handled approximately 60,000 TEUs in March.

Much of Indian east coast cargo is historically transshipped in the absence of direct, origin-to-destination connectivity -- a shortcoming blamed on port infrastructure inadequacies and gateway cargo problems.

With improved coastal shipping networks, carriers serving Indian trades have more options for intra-country container transportation.

Jenny Daniel
Global Correspondent

Contact email: [email protected]

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