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Gati to buy Rs 60-cr container vessel

Raja Simhan T.E.

Direct service between Chennai and Krabi or Phuket planned


How it helps
The new service would reduce transit time between Chennai and Thailand.
It will also help companies cut cost at transhipment ports.
Plans to use Chennai as its hub for box service in the region.

Chennai , March 20

Gati Ltd plans to buy a container vessel for Rs 60 crore. Gati Coast to Coast, the shipping division of Gati Ltd, will get the 444-TEU vessel from a Bangkok shipping yard in the next 15months, Mr Kumaran, Vice-President, Gati Coast to Coast, told Business Line.

The company plans to start a direct container service between Chennai and Thailand port of Krabi or Phuket, Mr Kumaran said.

Curently, there is no direct service between Chennai and Thailand. Containers between the two destinations are now transhipped at Singapore or Colombo ports.

The new service would reduce the transit time between Chennai and Thailand by three or four days, or even a week.

It will also help companies cut cost at transhipment ports, he said. Gati has applied for a licence to operate the service, and plans to use Chennai as its hub for container service in the region, he said.

The containers could carry automobile (completely knocked down) kits from Thailand. On the way back, the vessel would carry loaded containers to Port Blair.

From Port Blair, the ship would carry a number of empty boxes (for repositioning) to Thailand, he said.

Gati plans to cover all the ports in Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and the Malacca Straits.

Gati Coast to Coast owns and manages four vessels - Gati 1, Gati Suvidha, Gati Zipp and Gati Clarissa.

The company started with a service between Chennai and Port Blair on a fixed schedule till February.

It then started a direct service between Chennai and Yangon, Myanmar, and recently a service between Chennai and Colombo, Mr Kumaran said.

Gati Coast To Coast wishes to become India's biggest ship owning container company in the next five years. In its 20th year — 2009 — Gati's turnover will cross the Rs 1,000-crore mark, triple of what it was in 2004-05, he said.

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