‘Improve road connectivity to New Mangalore Port’

Panelists urged the authorities to improve road connectivity to New Mangalore Port (NMP) from hinterland areas in and Bengaluru.

They were interacting at a panel discussion on cargo owners perspective on reshaping ports and logistics infrastructure, organised at the Karnataka Ports, Shipping and Logistics Summit hosted by New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) and jointly organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) and India Seatrade on Friday.

Mangaluru Stevedores’ Association president Shekhar Poojary said ports and logistics are interlinked. Unfortunately, the poor road condition is the main stumbling block to the movement of cargo to the port. The Shiradi Ghat road connecting Bengaluru to Mangaluru was closed down for traffic following landslides. Even the railway connectivity can be unreliable during monsoon.

The godown rents in NMPT were also high when compared to other ports. Both State and Central governments should show a keen interest in developing infrastructure especially road to the port, Shekar Poojary added.

He said, “If Ankola-Hubballi railwayline materialises, then Mangaluru will be connected to Hubballi and surrounding areas including the port will be benefited.”

Ananthram S, Head Commercial and Logistics, Tata Coffee Limited said that good infrastructure, ease of operation, connectivity and proximity to port are preferred by any exporter and importer. “Tata Coffee uses five major ports in India and 20 % of the export is through NMP. Availability of container and time taken to get clearance from customs matters a lot when an exporter chooses a port.”

Devki Nandan of JSW Infrastructure felt the need for a deep draft in NMP to handle huge cargo ships. No ports in Karnataka has such a facility to handle huge cargo ships. The widening of NH 275 will help in movement of bigger containers from Chikkamagaluru, and other surrounding areas to Mangaluru.

Plastics Export Promotion Council Chairman Ravish Kamath said that New Mangalore Port has a huge potential to grow when it comes to the export of value-added plastic products. Only 1,000 containers are exported from Mangaluru. Owing to better connectivity, the exporters prefer Kochi and Chennai port.

There is a perennial shortage of containers and limited availability of shipping lines from Mangaluru. The cost of transportation to Mangaluru is 15 to 20 % high when compared to transporting goods to Chennai port,
he said.

Dhruv Gadh, Director Pricewaterhouse Coopers Private limited moderated the panel discussion.

The theme of the conference focused on trends in cargo movement and multimodal logistics in Mangaluru and Karnataka. Spread across two business sessions and plenary session, the conference saw a wide-ranging deliberation on topics supply chain challenges and opportunities, roadmap for enhancing connectivity and cargo movement in Mangaluru and finding solutions for the bottlenecks in seamless cargo movement, among others

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