Sonowal receives first Indian cargo ship at Sittwe port in Myanmar

Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal is expected to receive the first Indian cargo ship at Sittwe Port in Myanmar on May 9, 2023, marking the start of regular cargo ship transit between Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata , India and Sittwe Port in Rakhine State in Myanmar.

This development is expected to usher in a new era of transportation between the two countries and unleash tremendous economic potential for the entire Bay of Bengal Peninsula.

According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, this route will serve as a bridge between the South Asia and Southeast Asia regions.

On that occasion, Sonowal said that the port development in Sittwe is part of the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP), which will enable a multimodal transit connection with Southeast Asia.

The Port of Sittwe was developed under an India-Myanmar Framework Agreement for the construction and operation of a multi-modal transit transportation facility on the Kaladan River, linking the Port of Sittwe in Myanmar with the state of Mizoram in India. Once operational, the port will benefit not only Northeast India, but also Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

In his statement, Sonowal praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visionary leadership and his Act East proposal, which has allowed the landlocked country in north-eastern India to finally have much shorter access to the International Sea Route. This, in turn, will improve north-east India’s trade prospects in the coming years, he said.

The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport TP will provide an alternative connecting route from the East Coast of India to the North Eastern States through the Port of Sittwe. This will be a more viable route for trade and commerce in NE India than the existing route via Siliguri to Kolkata, saving time and money and achieving excellent efficiency.

The cost of transporting goods from Kolkata to Aizwal is expected to decrease by more than 50% if the freight is sent from Kolkata to Sittwe on Palletwa and then by road to Aizwal and throughout North East India.

The main exports for the Port of Sittwe are rice, timber, seafood, petroleum products, and garments and textiles. The main cargo for import into the Port of Sittwe includes building materials such as cement, steel and bricks, among others.

The opening of the Port of Sittwe will benefit Tripura immensely as transport time and logistics costs will be significantly reduced. This development is expected to not only benefit the economies of India and Myanmar, but also benefit the environment by reducing road traffic and the use of maritime transport, reducing the environmental cost of transport through a reduction in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels will decrease significantly.

Indian Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur launched a direct shipping service between the southern Indian port of Tuticorin and the Maldives on Thursday. Operated by the Shipping Corporation of India, the service aims to improve connectivity, reduce transit time and reduce costs between the two countries.

The ship “MV MSS Galena” with a carrying capacity of 421 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers and a device for transporting bulk cargo left the PSA SICAL Container Terminal on May 5 with 270 TEU of containers and is scheduled to reach the Maldives on May 7th. The dispatch service is said to make three calls per month, with a rotation of Tuticorin-Male-Tuticorin.

The service was launched as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding to establish seaborne passenger and cargo services between the Indian Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and the Maldives Government’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation on June 8, 2019, during the state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modes in the Maldives.

Thakur said the service added a new chapter to both countries’ connectivity initiatives in the Indian Ocean region, promoting, developing and stabilizing ship connectivity between Indian and Maldivian ports. The launch of the service fulfills Prime Minister Modi’s commitment during his visit to the Maldives and would boost bilateral trade between the two nations, he said.

Before the launch of this new service, bulk cargo destined for the Maldives was shipped by barges and sailing ships, while containers were routed through Colombo. A service between Tuticorin-Kochi-Kulhudhuffushi-Male was operated by the Shipping Corporation of India, with the vessel “MCP Linz” carrying a capacity of 200 TEU containers and 3,000 tons of general cargo.

The new dropship service is expected to further improve maritime trade relations between the two countries with renewed vigor, offering greater trade and economic opportunities.

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