Mangaluru, Mar 19, 2016 : NMPT - New Mangalore Port Trust’s Ro-Ro - Roll-on, Roll-off service for trucks to free National Highways of the goods vehicle traffic. Initially, being offered between Mangaluru Port and Hazira Port near Surat in Gujarat, the service is likely to be made available between Mangaluru and Kochi too.
The demand is more from Hazira to Mangaluru than vice-versa, NMPT chairman P.C. Parida told media, about 80 trucks are loaded in the return trip, about 40 trucks are loaded on the ship during the onward trip, he said. The Port Trust is exploring the possibilities of providing the service to Kochi too, another dense freight corridor.
Fleet operators can save at least 30 per cent on the cost of operation if they use this service while about Rs. 900 is charged per tonne of cargo loaded on the truck. As per the directions of the Ministry of Shipping, NMPT is charging only 60 per cent of the port charges for coastal movement of cargo as well as trucks.
Hazira is located in close proximity to several important cities in Gujarat as well as Rajasthan from where there is heavy movement of trucks, Chairman Parida pointed out. He said that NMPT is in dialogue with many industries in the Mangalore SEZ to attract truck traffic for the service.
Meanwhile, the Port Trust has succeeded in convincing the Customs authorities for hassle-free movement of trucks as traffic was within the country, he said.
A yard has been provided for trucks opting for the service.
Explaining the benefits of the service, a senior NMPT official said that besides being environment-friendly, it would reduce wear and tear of vehicle parts and ensure complete safety of cargo. Since its introduction about a month ago, the vessel concerned has made four round trips, the officer added.
Daily service by Konkan Railway : KRCL - Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. introduced Ro-Ro in 1999, has been offering daily up and down services between Kolad in Maharashtra and Surathkal in Karnataka, transporting at least 42 trucks in one direction. KRCL too is offering competitive rates, with the minimum charge being Rs. 8,974 for a 15-tonne truck and a maximum of Rs. 23,262 for a 40-tonnne truck. The corporation also operates special Ro-Ro rakes if there is demand, said KRCL’s Manager, Public Relations, Mangaluru, Sudha Krishnamoorthy.