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Intermodal Transport

Indian waterway used for International Transportation

India moves its first ever ship through the Inland Waterways Authority of India, carrying stone from Bhutan to be delivered in Bangladesh.

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Indian waterway used for International Transportation
Indian waterway used for International Transportation. Image: Northeast Now

In a first ever movement of its kind, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of State for Shipping (Independent Charge) and Chemical & Fertilizers, digitally  flagged-off a ship of the Inland Waterways Authority of India, carrying stone from Bhutan to be delivered in Bangladesh.

The ship – MV AAI – has set sail from Dhubri in Assam and will travel to Narayanganj in Bangladesh, over river Brahmaputra and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route.

This is the first time an Indian waterway is being used as a channel for transport of cargo between two countries, using India for transit.

The stone aggregates were transported by trucks from Phuentsholing in Bhutan which is 160 KMs from IWAI’s Dhubri jetty in Assam. Till now, Bhutan has been exporting significant quantity of stone aggregates to Bangladesh through the land route. The ship is carrying 1000 MT of stones – 70 trucks would be required to transport the same cargo by road.

Speaking on this occasion Shri Mandaviyasaid that the development is a historic one, taking ahead the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to promote cargo transportation through inland waterways .

He said the move will be beneficial to India as well as Bhutan and Bangladesh, and strengthen relations between the neighbouring countries.  He said transport of cargo through this route will cut short travel time by 8 to 10 days, and reduce transportation cost by 30%, bringing down logistics costs.

It will also be a more environment friendly mode of transport. Shri Mandaviya further  said that this new development will not only strengthen our ties with our neighbouring countries, but will also open up an alternate route to our  North Eastern states, making it easier and cheaper to reach goods to these places from other parts of the country.

Shri Pravir Pandey, Chairman IWAI informed that capital dredging has been carried out to maintain an assured draft in the navigation channel. Maintenance dredging will be carried out as required. He further informed that at least 10 other National Waterways are under development currently.

Indian waterway used for International Transportation

Indian waterway used for International Transportation. Image: PIBThe Government is also taking various initiatives to increase the use of Inland Waterways and Coastal Shipping for greater cargo shipment. These include providing assured depth of water in the channels, navigation aids like GPS and River Information System, terminals at regular intervals, facilities for mechanized handling of cargo handling etc.

A minimum 40 % discount and priority in berthing is being given to coastal vessels at major ports. Licensing relaxations have been made under section 406 and 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958 for fertilizers, agricultural products, fisheries, horticultural, and animal husbandry products, empty containers and containers being transhipped from another Indian port, special vessels such as Ro-Ro, Ro-Pax, Project cargo/ODC.

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Intermodal Transport

Ruscon Group celebrates its 100th train service

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Ruscon Group celebrates its 100th train service. Image: Delo Group
Ruscon Group celebrates its 100th train service. Image: Delo Group
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As part of the Moscow Container Express service, multimodal transport operator Ruscon organized the dispatch of the hundredth jubilee container train from the NUTEP terminal of the DeloPorts stevedore company from Novorossiysk, Russia, to Selyatino in the Moscow region.

In honour of this event, before the departure of the train, a festive ceremony was held, in which the management and employees of Ruscon, Maersk, DeloPorts and TransContainer took part. The attendees noted that the advantages of the Moscow Express service are fast delivery, more environmentally friendly than road transport and safe passage of goods.

Moscow Container Express replaces 4,000 trucks

Speaking at the ceremony, First Vice President of Ruscon Andrey Chernyshev stressed: “Since February 2020, over 4.4 thousand loaded containers have been transported by train on the Novorossiysk-Moscow route. It is not only tons of timely guaranteed cargo delivered. Thanks to this service, we were able to reduce the volume of road transportation and, as a result, reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. According to a preliminary estimate of our specialists, during the operation of the Moscow Express, federal highways were cleared of more than 4 thousand trucks. For this reason, and because of the customers’ needs, we plan to expand the geography of such services and develop new destinations.”

The Moscow Express train departs weekly on this route. Maersk is Ruscon’s partner in this logistics project.

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Intermodal Transport

Humber Express shuttle service launched

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Humber Express shuttle service launched. Image: iPort Rail
Humber Express shuttle service launched. Image: iPort Rail
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iPort Rail announced the launch of a new rail service- Humber Express Shuttle, connecting the Port of Immingham and iPort Rail with the capacity to move 80 containers per day.

The Humber Express, a partnership between DFDS, one of Europe’s leading ferry and logistics providers and our team at iPort Rail. It is open to businesses across the region and nationwide wanting to make this route part of their supply chains.

Containers will arrive at Immingham by ship from destinations worldwide carrying a wide variety of goods. They will be loaded directly onto the train at the Port before being moved by rail to Doncaster and from there to onwards destinations across the country. At the same time, goods from across the UK can arrive in Doncaster for smooth transit to Immingham and onward to DFDS European network destinations. Services will run in both directions twice a day with capacity for 80 containers every 24 hours.

Announcing the launch of the service, Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, said: “Rail is already a greener alternative for moving goods long distance by road and is being adopted by more businesses to help make their supply chains more sustainable. It also has an important role to play in keeping goods moving while the road haulage industry is under such pressure.

“New approaches and strong strategic partnerships are going to be increasingly important if businesses are going to maximise their potential in the current circumstances. This new service offers businesses a reliable and efficient route to and from the Port of Immingham with the option for customs clearance in Doncaster and seamless onward transit.”

Andrew Byrne, managing director of DFDS in Immingham, said: “The logistics industry is facing one of its largest challenges in a generation. There are additional complexities due to Brexit still impacting on supply chains, and the current shortage of lorry drivers is threatening to undo years of development of efficient just in time operations that rely on supply chains that operate equally as quickly and proficiently.

“With tens of thousands of containers, tank containers and trade vehicles moving in and out of the Port of Immingham every year the fact none of these are moved by rail is something that has long needed addressing. The Humber Express complements the efficient logistics and transport operations which already successfully run out of the Port of Immingham. I am delighted that DFDS and iPort Rail have had the courage and commitment to make it happen.”

Immingham is the fourth biggest port in the UK when measured by the number of units that cross the quayside. In 2020 Immingham and Grimsby handled over 10% of all the units moved in and out of the UK, behind Dover, Felixstowe and London. Whilst Felixstowe and London have regular and essential unitised rail services to and from the port, Immingham has only moved bulk or break-bulk products by rail, until now.

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Intermodal Transport

Samskip acquires Sea Connect UAB in strategic Baltic Sea investment

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Samskip acquires Sea Connect UAB in strategic Baltic Sea investment. Image: Samskip
Samskip acquires Sea Connect UAB in strategic Baltic Sea investment. Image: Samskip
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Acquisition of Baltic shortsea operator once again extends regional links into Samskip’s pan-European multimodal network. European transport group Samskip has broadened its Baltic operations by acquiring shortsea specialist Sea Connect. The Klaipeda-based shipping company, which will be renamed Samskip Sea Connect, offers shortsea services connecting Russia, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Sea Connect operates three 1A Ice Class container vessels calling twice a week at St. Petersburg and Rotterdam, weekly at Hamburg and at Aarhus sub inducement.

“This acquisition strengthens our position in Russia, in the Netherlands and across a range of key Baltic ports in between,” said Kari-Pekka Laaksonen, Chief Executive Officer, Samskip. “It enhances services for Samskip’s shortsea customers focusing on growth opportunities in Russia and adds opportunities for importers and exporters within the region to secure cost-efficient and sustainable multimodal connections farther afield.”

“Sea Connect has emerged as an exceptionally lean, robust operation offering reliability in quay-to-quay and door-to-door services,” Laaksonen added. Its acquisition consolidates Samskip’s commitments to the Baltic region, following its acquisition of Norlines in 2017 and the founding of a separate Finnish entity earlier this year.

Both Sea Connect Managing Director, Viacheslav Puzemskij and SCS-Russia Managing Director, Anton Larkin remain to play full roles within the new organization, working with Johan van der Pijl, Samskip Regional Director Baltics and Russia.

“This is a win-win for our customers which brings together Sea Connect’s route-specific focus with the opportunities created by Samskip’s extensive multimodal network and values,” said Viacheslav Puzemskij. “Integrating our company with Samskip aligns with the strategic goal we set ourselves in forming Sea Connect to evolve as a trusted partner and grow to serve the full range of customer needs in the Baltic and Russian markets. We assure our present and future clients that a customer-orientated culture will remain in the company, as our most important value.”

Laaksonen anticipates particular growth in unitized volumes connecting Russia and the Baltic states through Rotterdam by rail, barges, vessels all over the Europe, and also greater deployment of Samskip’s expert refrigerated cargo services in St Petersburg. “Russian exporters and importers are likely to be attracted by new possibilities to penetrate markets to the west and south using Samskip’s network of shortsea, rail, inland barge and road services,” he added. Sea Connect’s feeder links with deep sea carriers would also remain.

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