An Indian containership departed from the country’s East Coast port of Krishnapatnam on a first direct route voyage to Bangladesh on April 4, the port confirmed to World Maritime News.
The direct route is a part of a coastal shipping agreement signed between India and Bangladesh, and approved by the Indian government in 2015, in an effort to develop the coastal trade between the two countries.
The Indian Express cited the port’s Director and CEO, Anil Yendluri, as saying that the earlier shipments from Indian ports sailed to Bangladesh, India’s largest trade partner in South Asia, via Colombo or Singapore. Yendluri added that such detours prolonged the voyage time, and with the new direct route the sailings could be reduced to a period of two to five days.
The coastal shipping agreement, which would see freight charges decreased, is expected to improve the utilization of port capacities of Indian ports and open up new opportunity for Indian coastal vessels.
Coastal shipping between India and Bangladesh would increase bilateral trade and lower the cost of transportation of Exim cargo, according to the government of India.
The opening up of the coastal route between India and Bangladesh is expected to provide an alternative route for the transportation of Exim cargo between the two countries.