Goyal, Gadkari flag off CONCOR's coastal operations

Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari launched the public sector Container Corporation of India Limited's (CONCOR) coastal operations by flagging off its vessel SSL Mumbai on its maiden vogage from Kandla in Gujarat to Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu yesterday.
The flagging off ceremony was conducted through a video link from Transport Bhawan, New Delhi.  
Girish Pillai, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, Gopal Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, V Kalyana Rama, CMD, CONCOR & senior officers of Ministries of Railways and Shipping were also present on the occasion.
Goyal said on the occasion that the Railways had launched many reforms in the last four and a half years and this was part of the process.
"For instance, we have stopped producing the old model of coaches and started producing only LHB coaches, to eventually replace all old coaches. We have targeted 100% electrification over the vast Indian Railways network,” he said.
“The joint efforts of the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways and the Railways have led to the inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge by the Prime Minister recently. The Rail University, having now been started, is preparing more than 100 students for the transport sector. 
“The new indigenous built Train 18, under Make in India initiative, will soon be flagged off on New Delhi-Varanasi route. This new service by CONCOR will also be very profitable for freight movement to send goods to different locations in a cost-effective manner and will also reduce the load on railways and road,” he said.
“When we strive for world-class logistics costs in India, joint efforts by road, rail and sea is required, only then the pace of development will be accelerated,” he pointed out.
He said CONCOR, a PSU under the Ministry of Railways, had started its operations with seven terminals and had 81 terminals today. He said the aim was to reach 100 terminals by next year.
Mr Gadkari said, “It’s a red flag day in the history of transportation in India. I am glad to see this modal shift in the logistics chain.  The combination of Railways and coastal shipping is a win-win situation for both modes as this will release capacity for railways to carry other goods and facilitate more commodities like steel, cement, and other general cargo to be transported through coastal trade, thereby enhancing the coastal trade basket."
“I urge CONCOR and other cargo transporters to utilise waterways and coastal shipping to enhance business coefficient as this is a much cheaper mode of transportation,” the minister added. 
Briefly, the arrangement envisages deployment of two dedicated vessels, each capable of carrying a minimum of 700 loaded containers. CONCOR, in addition to first mile and last mile connectivity, will arrange port handling and coastal transportation of loaded/empty containers and bulk/break-bulk cargo between Kandla port to Tuticorin port via Mangalore port and Cochin port.  This will provide a seamless solution to customers from origin to destination. 
There will be weekly services from Kandla port to Tuticorin port via Mangalore and Cochin ports. 
The initiative is part of CONCOR's overall strategy of expansion and entry into new areas of business that would complement its position as a multi-modal logistics service provider, an official press release added.

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