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Published: 16 February 2016      

Cabotage ro-ro in India

Link Shipping has introduced India's first cabotage ro-ro service for cars, transporting 800 new Hyundai cars from Chennai to Pipapav

It is understood that 800 Hyundai cars built at the Korean car maker's Sriperumbudur plant were transported from Chennai on the 4000 CEU IDM SYMEX, chartered from Symex Maritime Singapore by Link Shipping & Management System, in a coastwise sailing that took six days.

Binu Joshua Thomas, Director of Link Shipping, was quoted in BusinessTimes: “This is the first time in the country that cars are being transported through coastal shipping. We have [already] been moving trucks from New Mangalore to Hazira.”

The foreign flag vessel has been permitted by India's Shipping Ministry to do coastal run in Indian waters for the next five years, he said.

Thomas said moving cars by coastal shipping would be 25-30% cheaper when compared to road and it is more environment-friendly as for this shipment around 100 car trailers were off the road.

Chennai Port Trust said it will incentivise the cabotage mode by reducing tariffs.

The vessel docked at APM Terminals Pipavav, where export ro-ro services began last September with NYK (WorldCargo News, September 2015, pp49-50).

The new cars shipped domestically by Link Shipping are destined for Hyundai Motor dealerships in Western India.

“We are proud to be a part of this historic and innovative intra-costal shipment of Indian automobiles, serving India’s growing automotive industry with safe, and environmentally sustainable logistics alternatives,” said APMT Pipavav's Managing Director Keld Pedersen.

The Shipping Ministry is evaluating other modal shift incentives to encourage shifting of domestic cargo from road to sea.

The picture shows the inaugural arrival at APMT Pipapav.

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