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Sailing vessels to boost trade

Staff Reporter
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Four trips a week to Colombo will ensure timely goods delivery

loading is on: A view of the sailing vessel at Tuticorin Old Harbour on Thursday. — Photo: N.Rajesh
loading is on: A view of the sailing vessel at Tuticorin Old Harbour on Thursday. — Photo: N.Rajesh

Ahead of the commencement of ferry service from Tuticorin to Colombo, the businessmen are a happy lot what with the resumption of sailing mechanised vessel operations to stimulate export trade in Tuticorin.

With just a few weeks left for the launch of the ferry service, the sailing mechanised vessels are expected to ship the goods from the Old Port of Tuticorin to Colombo in a day or two.

Hectic activities

Hectic activities could be witnessed at the old Port. The trade operations between Tuticorin and Colombo had remained suspended since 2008 due to security threats.

J.P. Joe Villavarayar, a businessman and Vice Chairman, Confederation of Indian Industry, said the resumption of this mode of shipping would certainly expand export marketing.

There would be four sailings a week from Tuticorin to Colombo.

The importers would be assured of goods delivery on time by the 60 vessels that would be engaged.

“Edible commodities, including oil and vegetables, would be shipped. Besides, small machinery, cement and cattle feed would be exported. The freight charge of this sort is lesser than that of the regular cargo shipping. It takes 24 hours to reach Colombo.”

This kind of shipping remained functional between these two places for over 400 years.

Due to limited berthing facilities at Colombo and security concerns, the services were suspended. R. Edwin Samuel, Chairman, CII, said it was a unique mode of transport.

Hailed

Federation of Indian Export Organisations has hailed the move.

To ensure vibrant growth, infrastructure should accelerate its pace with export, Walter D' Souza, Chairman, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, Southern Region told The Hindu on Thursday. A. Subbiah, Chairman, Tuticorin Port Trust, said the Traffic Department would render assistance for this operation.

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