The ship will carry tiles, steel coils and general cargo from Dharamtar to Kerala. On the return leg, the shipping company is looking at cargo such as tyres, latex and coir products.
Trans Asian Shipping Services (TASS) will start a new fortnightly coastal shipping service linking Dharamtar in Maharashtra with Kozhikode, Cochin and Kollam in Kerala as ship-owners look to tap in to a transport mode. The mode has given a greater thrust by the Union Government to reduce logistics costs, pollution and oil import bill. The company will deploy M.V Karuthal, a 2009-built multi-purpose container vessel on its ‘Indian Minor Port Service’ (IMPS). Karuthal, a 1,600 metric tonne (MT) capacity ship (can carry 94 containers) was till last year operating on the Jebel Ali-Doha sector in the Middle East as a foreign flagged vessel. The IMPS will be the ship’s maiden trip after it was converted into the Indian flag, a regulatory requirement for ships to ply on local routes in India carrying cargo under a so-called cabotage law. Karuthal has a draft of 3.2 metres making it ideal to run between India’s minor ports (those outside the control of the Union Government) which has low depth and, hence, unsuitable for bigger ships to dock.
Johnson Mathew, Chairman & Managing Director, TASS, says, “Initially, it will be a fortnightly service with duration of 12-13 days for a round trip, but Trans Asia hopes to convert it into a weekly service depending on the demand and requirements of the trade/end users.” The Mumbai-Kochi sector is a market predominantly controlled by truckers. With Bharat IV coming into force, there is an increase of `5,000 straightaway in truck rentals on the Mumbai-Kochi route. The service has the potential to take away some 130 trucks off the roads, resulting in reduced oil imports and the savings arising from it. “A big portion of the exchequer is spent from easing road congestion and reducing pollution in the environment.”
Johnson Mathew. Chairman & Managing Director Trans Asian Shipping Services: Initially, it will be a fortnightly service with duration of 12- 13 days for a round trip, but Trans Asia hopes to convert it into a weekly service