Adani Ports has announced that the first export of containerised goods between India and Bangladesh using solely inland waterways has been completed.
In a statement, Adani Ports said the barge MV Pruthvi reached its destination at Pangaon International Container Terminal, Dhaka, on 12 July 2020, carrying 45 TEU.
It left Haldia Docks on the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route (IBPR) on the 30 June 2020.
The India-Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Transit (PIWTT) was signed in 1972 to allow free movement of goods between India and Bangladesh through specified routes linking domestic cargo movement between West Bengal, Assam and Tripura via Bangladesh and cargo movement from India to Bangladesh.
The Indian government has invested heavily in its inland waterways and sees it as a way of improving logistics across the country and with its neighbours.
In late-2018 it inaugurated the first of four inland terminals on the Ganges River as part of this effort, which is also part of the International North South Trade Corridor, its alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
“Since last year, our team is working on offering commercially viable logistics solutions using Inland Waterways,” Anil Kishore Singh, CEO – Inland Waterways of Adani Logistics.
“Previously, we have successfully completed the domestic containerized movement between Haldia – Patna on NW1 and Haldia – Guwahati on NW2 (using IBPR). The success of containerized movement from Haldia to Guwahati on NW2 (using IBPR) has generated keen interest with the importers/ exporters of both India and Bangladesh to extend its usage for EXIM cargo movement.
“One vessel movement is equivalent to 64 or more trucks. Thus Inland Waterways provides a competitive alternative to current road based movement of goods through Petrapole ICP. Containerized movement of sponge iron is a safer alternative as compared to carrying the cargo in bulk/break bulk which has also been appreciated by industry.” said Capt. Riva Ganguly Das, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh.
“India and Bangladesh had recently signed the 2nd Addendum to Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Transit on 20th May 2020 which included two new routes, five new Ports of Call and two extended Ports of Call including Summit Alliance Port Limited (SAPL), Mukhtarpur in Bangladesh,” Das said.
“Connectivity provided by the existing and the newly added protocol routes provides excellent opportunity for expansion of our bilateral trade besides which, in the present Covid-19 scenario it provides economical, faster and safer mode of transport for business communities of both the countries and will also have environmental benefits for the region.”