Coastal Shipping: Kerala joins Gujarat

With the Vizhinjam deep sea port scheduled to start operations within a year, the Kerala Maritime Board (KMB), with the support of the Gujarat Maritime Board, is studying the possibility of developing coastal cargo shipping.

KMB Chairman NS Pillai, who was holding talks with the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) during his recent visit to Gujarat, said the state needs to develop coastal shipping to ensure the smooth movement of goods from Vizhinjam.

“Many mother ships could call at Vizhinjam port and we need to develop infrastructure to ensure smooth freight traffic. The Ministry of Ports has already taken steps to develop smaller ports. Also, we want to improve sea freight traffic from Mundra port to Vizhinjam. Ships are already in use in the Mundra – Kochi sector. “We are planning to organize a roadshow in Kochi with the support of the main shipping companies and the GMB has agreed to cooperate,” he said.

“The smaller ports under GMB handle around 50 percent of India’s cargo traffic and we can learn a lot from them. Gujarat Maritime University runs many professionally oriented courses that are accepted worldwide. We discussed the introduction of off-campus courses at our maritime institutes in Kodungallur and Neendakara. We will take a final call once we get the nod from the state government,” he said.

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