A city with a sea port and an airport provides ‘stability’ in services

While officials of New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) said that the shipping of cargo from Mangalore International Airport will have no impact on movement of goods through the port, businessmen said it would complement the cargo moving through it.

“It doesn’t affect. That cargo (through air) is very expensive. At the port, it is bulk cargo (that is transported),” T.S.N. Murthy, Deputy Chairman, NMPT, told The Hindu. He said the port handles cargo such as imported crude oil to feed industry such as Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), fertilisers for fertiliser companies and exports refined oil.

The air cargo is expected to handle high value, small size and perishable goods such as marine products, vegetables and flowers.

Mohammed Ameen, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said, “There is no connection at all between the two (cargoes).” Seven to eight years ago, at least once a week, the home effects of NRIs in the Gulf would be sent through ship to Mangalore. But that has grown rare now as it is sent to Kochi from where it travels by road to be home-delivered in Mangalore, he said.

When asked if cargo moving through the airport would affect the port’s cargo, Giridhar Prabhu, former president of KCCI and a cashew exporter, said, “It will not. It is complementary.”

He said that every city with a sea port and airport provides “stability in services”.

In Mangalore, a start could be exporting vegetables to the Gulf by air. But moving on, adequate and appropriate flights will be needed. “Mangalore needs more scheduled flights and more airline capacity,” Mr. Prabhu said.

Calling Jet Airways’ scheduled flight to the Gulf “a good augury”, he said Mangalore needed more scheduled flights to that region. Mangalore was connected to Oman, Bahrain and Dubai but a scheduled flight to Saudi Arabia was required. At present, there was only a chartered flight to Saudi Arabia for Haj pilgrims, he said.

Scheduled flights carry cargo as they have space in the belly of the craft while express flights have large passenger loads and do not carry cargo, said Mr. Prabhu.

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