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India relaxes cabotage for modal shift

PIPAVAV, INDIA: February 17, 2016. The decision by India’s Ministry of Shipping to relax cabotage regulations on special vessels has enabled the first domestic delivery of cars by ship rather than via train or truck between Chennai and the West India port of Pipavav, Gurjarat.

APM Terminals Pipavav handled the car carrier IDM Symex that arrived earlier this week with 800 Hyundai cars after loading at the port of Chennai on February 5th, in a pioneering use of economic and eco-friendly coastal transport of Indian-manufactured automobiles.

APM India car terminalThe Maersk Group subsidiary has been supporting RORO services at Pipavav since 2015 following the investment by NYK Auto Logistics India in a new stockyard and pre- delivery inspection facility.

The new cars destined for West India dealerships were produced at the Hyundai Motor India facility near Chennai, in Tamil Nadu State. The company is India’s second-largest car manufacturer and for the past decade has been the country’s largest exporter of passenger cars.

Project manager Link Shipping was responsible for pioneering the modal shift in a bid to show car manufacturers a more sustainable form of transport: “We are proud to be a part of this historic and innovative intra-costal shipment of Indian automobiles, serving India’s growing automotive industry with safe, and environmentally sustainable logistics alternatives,” commented APM Terminals Pipavav managing director Keld Pedersen.

APM said the Indian government is studying modal shift incentives for companies to switch domestic cargo from road to sea in order to reduce costs, road congestion and diesel-related emissions.

The country is expected to overtake Japan as the world’s leading producer of entry-level automobiles by 2021 – growing its market share from 20 percent to 28 percent. India’s consumers are expected to buy 2.2 million new cars this year.

APM Terminals Pipavav is India's first Public Private Partnership port in the country and serves as a gateway for the movement of containers, bulk, liquid and cars to the Gujarat region and the North of India.

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