KOLKATA: Haldia International Container Terminal (HICT) has achieved another milestone with the commencement of a new Bangladesh service from Haldia on February 6, 2018 under the Indo-Bangladesh Coastal Protocol.
Located 90 km from Kolkata, the Petrapole-Benapole border handles $ 3.4 billion (Rs 22,000 crore) of the $ 6billion bilateral trade with Bangladesh. In 2016-17, Indian exports accounted for more than 70 per cent of the trade through this gate.
However, due to the slow pace of border clearance, a truck normally takes 22 days, including two weeks on the Indian side, to complete its trade run.
The Bangladesh trade was eagerly seeking an alternate efficient mode, delivered by a short coastal route with reliable vessel service, delivering goods right up to Dhaka and Chittagong Ports.
A ray of hope has emerged, from the immense efforts put in by the J. M. Baxi Group, which has come up with a robust vessel service in accordance with the India-Bangladesh Coastal Protocol.
The maiden voyage KSL Pride, with rated capacity of 170 TEUs, berthed at the Container Terminal at Haldia managed by the J. M. Baxi Group.
This was just a beginning, as the trade will receive scheduled service, improving delivery lead times, and massive savings in material holding costs.