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Kolkata to Shanghai direct cargo link established to boost trade

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KOLKATA : In a significant development for trade and logistics in Eastern India, the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMPK), has initiated a direct container vessel service from Shanghai, China. This move is set to streamline operations and reduce logistics costs substantially. The announcement made on June 10 also includes the introduction of a weekly express service that connects Port Klang in Malaysia and Yangon Port in Myanmar directly.

Traditionally, cargo movement between China and Kolkata has depended on transit through hubs like Singapore. The launch of this direct service marks a shift towards more efficient shipping routes. The inaugural vessel, SITC Nagoya, marked the commencement of this service by docking at the Haldia International Container Terminal on June 6, having sailed directly from Shanghai. Following closely, the SITC Tianjin is expected to arrive at the Haldia Dock Complex from China by June 12.

Mr.Rathendra Raman, Chairman of SMPK, highlighted the economic benefits of this new service. According to him, shipping costs for cargo from Far East countries to SMP Kolkata could see a reduction of about 35 per cent compared to traditional routes. This cost efficiency is anticipated to foster regular trade between India and key Far East nations such as Malaysia, Myanmar, China, and Japan.

The operation of this service is managed by J M Baxi Ports and Logistics. It features a port rotation that includes Port Klang, Haldia Dock Complex, Yangon Port, and extends to Shanghai. This strategic routing ensures a direct and seamless connection between the Far East ports and Kolkata.

This development is poised to benefit a wide range of stakeholders in the region. Shippers located in West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, the North East of India, as well as neighboring countries like Nepal and Bhutan, stand to gain from reduced transit times and costs. The direct service not only enhances the efficiency of cargo movement but also promotes greater economic integration with major trading partners in the Far East.

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