Published On:May 27 2024
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Kerala Maritime Board to Revive Short Sea Shipping Service

The Kerala Maritime Board (KMB) is in talks with vessel operators to restart short sea shipping by offering special incentives to the Exim trade and vessel operators. Shine A. Haq, CEO of KMB, noted that the limited draft at the minor ports of Beypore and Azheekal poses a challenge in attracting new services. To address this, KMB will organize trade meetings to understand the needs of the trading community and provide necessary space at various minor ports.

Haq was speaking at a joint session organized by NIT Calicut in collaboration with the Kerala Exporters Forum, under the PM Gati Shakthi flagship program. During the session, Hameedali, President of the Kerala Exporters Forum, called for government initiatives to revive coastal shipping services, which would help reduce road congestion, lower carbon emissions, and decrease road accidents. He also highlighted concerns over the non-availability of empty containers for exports from Beypore, high ocean freight rates, and high handling charges at Cochin Port. The Exporters’ Forum has submitted a representation to the Central Government requesting reductions in both air and sea freight rates.

Munshid Ali, Secretary of the Kerala Exporters Forum, expressed concerns about the underutilization of facilities at minor ports and urged the Maritime Board to initiate coastal services to facilitate Exim and domestic cargo movement through Beypore and Azheekal ports.

Ashwin George, Joint Commissioner of Customs in Cochin, informed attendees that Beypore, Kollam, and Azheekal ports are equipped with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) facilities. He assured that RODTEP and drawback returns are available for cargo moving through these ports. George encouraged trade and industry participants to utilize the faceless assessment systems and register for Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) and Direct Port Delivery (DPD) status to significantly reduce dual time and costs for Exim cargo.


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