6,300 tonnes of rice, both raw and boiled, arrived here in containers for the first time , and it achieved zero transit loss.

The Food Corporation of India (FCI) has decided from now on to regularly transport rice to Kerala via the sea route from Andhra Pradesh considering the advantages like almost zero transit loss and cleaner consignments.

An FCI official said here on Wednesday that 6,300 tonnes of rice, both raw and boiled, arrived here in containers for the first time and that the experience was encouraging.

The permitted level of transit loss is between 0.1 and 0.2 per cent of a consignment sent by rail and FCI official said that even this level of loss could be overcome by using containers for transport. The consignments will also be cleaner because of little or no contamination unlike in the case of rail rakes.

FCI officials are optimistic that if there are no labour troubles it would be possible for FCI to stick to the new schedule.

The Food Corporation would also be saving money because transport by rail involves consignments arriving here on Sundays when no unloading operations take place, forcing the Food Corporation to cough up extra payments in demurrage.

The Food Corporation of India transports approximately 1.40 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat, almost half the consignments being rice from Andhra Pradesh. Only a small quantity of raw rice was sourced from North India, making it possible to transport nearly the entire quantity of rice to Kerala by sea, the FCI official said.

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