Union Shipping Secretary Gopal Krishna on Tuesday (Oct. 30) said relaxation of cabotage for foreign-registered vessels has helped reduce coastal shipping rates and Indian seaports like Krishnapatnam and Visakhapatnam are attracting a share of cargo which was previously transshipped at Singapore or Colombo.
The Centre relaxed cabotage for foreign registered vessels in May. It allowed foreign liners to pick up cargo en-route. Shipping Line Maersk has already opened coastal links between Kolkata- Paradip and Kattupalli port of the Adani group in Chennai to facilitate coastal shipping.
“We are getting back the cargo,” Krishna said. According to him coastal shipping failed to grow due to various restrictions involving the ownership of ships, which in turn impacted the availability of ships. The cabotage relaxation has “impacted” the supply.
However, to further promote the sector which would benefit consumers in terms of lower logistics cost, India should do away with the restrictions.
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