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Lots Shipping bags ro-ro contract; to set sail Kochi operations in mid-Feb

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Double-end ferry:A file picture of Lots Bridge, a vessel chartered by Lots Shipping for ro-ro operations at Kochi port

V. Sajeev Kumar

Kochi, Jan 31

The Kochi-based Lots Shipping, which bagged the contract for ro-ro operations between Willingdon Island and Bolghatty, is all set to commence its operations by mid February.

Lots Bridge, the double-end ferry chartered by the company for transportation of containers is expected to arrive at Kochi by February 10.

capacity

The contract is for a period of 10 years.

This is the first double-end ferry operated in India and it has a capacity to move fifteen 20-TEU container trucks in a trip and 500 TEUs a day, Mr Renjith Nelluvelil, Chief Executive Officer, Lots Shipping, said.

Long-term charter

The vessel is on long term charter from a Singapore company and was under Singapore Government employment.

The vessel is classed by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).

The company will add more vessels once the traffic picks up, he said.

The Kochi port has plans to set up a container freight station (CFS) at W Island once the Vallarpadam Container Transhipment Terminal commences its operations by February.

container freight station

However, one of the major problems anticipated is the movement of containers between the CFS at W Island to ICCT at Vallarpadam.

The only option existed for the container transportation is through the crowded roads of Kochi.

The port, therefore, studied the option of movement of the containers by water and created the infrastructure jointly with the Inland Waterways Authority of India.

Both roll on-roll off (ro-ro) and lift on and lift off (lo-lo) mode is envisaged. Initially traffic of 750 containers a day is expected between W.island and Vallarpdam through these modes.

distance reduced

The road distance of 38 km between W Island and Vallarpadam is reduced to 3.7 km by using the water connectivity.

The time taken for transporting the container trucks by ro-ro mode will be just 20 minutes.

By creating the water connectivity, the congestion in the city roads is expected to be reduced to a certain extent. All the south-bound containers are expected to use the ro-ro facility.

The rates fixed for the ro-ro mode are: 20' chassis – Rs 974.50; 40' chassis – Rs 1,737.56; 20' container with truck – Rs 1,158.37; 40' container with truck – Rs 1,921.43.

The charges are inclusive of port charges and all applicable taxes.

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