In an industry-leading move, South Korean liner HMM has opened a dedicated container train service from North India (ICD Tughlakabad) to Kattupalli Port, an emerging gateway near Chennai.
“With extended support from its service partner – Container Corporation of India (Concor), HMM has launched a new, direct rail service from ICD Tughlakabad to Kattupalli Port, to connect to its direct FIL service to East Coast South America,” the carrier said in a release.
The liner further noted, “HMM has always strived to provide the best-in-class service to its valuable customers and this recent endeavour has added another feather to its cap, which is especially beneficial to shippers in North India.”
The direct inland solution has the potential to improve transit times for northern hinterland shippers usually sending goods via Mundra Port for onward connections on the FIL, which has only one direct call at Kattupalli for the Indian market coverage.
The rail service has two train trips a week from Tughlakabad, which HMM believes will significantly enhance cargo flow efficiency.
“This direct rail connection to Kattupalli will reduce the transit time by a staggering 14 days as against the normal rail route to Mundra Port for onward feeder connection to Kattupalli,” HMM said.
The carrier went on to add, “North India shippers can expect their shipments to reach Brazil in under 30 days using this new rail connection, which is the fastest transit time available across the industry.”
At the train service launch event, Concor officials also lauded HMM’s efforts to connect northern India cargo via Kattupalli, which they said will be a big boost for exporters looking for faster connections.
“Concor stands committed to help expand its rail network to improve logistics in India in keeping with the vision, aim and policies of the government of India,” they said.
The weekly FIL rotates Busan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Shekou, Singapore, Kattupalli, Durban, Santos, Paranagua, Itapoa, Itajai, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Busan. It deploys a fleet of 12 ships with capacities ranging around 5,000 TEUs, according to available industry information.
Kattupalli is a deep-water, all-weather cargo hub, operated by Adani Ports (APSEZ). The private harbour has seen steady growth at the expense of Chennai Port, which has perennial congestion problems.
Kattupalli handled 58,155 TEUs in November, up from 31,014 TEUs year-over-year.