Maersk in landmark Ganges shipment

India is easing its cabotage rules to help develop connections across the giant country and with its neighbours. Today Denmark’s Maersk Line will move 16 containers along the River Ganges for the first time from Varanasi to Kolkata.

India has been spending huge amounts of money to make the 1,390 km long Ganges more navigable to commercial shipping. Ships of up to 2,000 dwt can now transit from Varanasi to Kolkata.

“With Maersk on board, the cargo from the hinterland will move directly to and from Bangladesh and rest of the world through the Bay of Bengal,” a press release from India’s Ministry of Shipping stated yesterday.

The government has set out to triple the amount of goods shipped on India’s waterways to hit 150m tons by 2023, something that is expected to spark a sizeable shipbuilding boom at local yards.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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