Maersk Uses Inland Waterway in India
The world's largest container shipping company Maersk Line began moving 16 containers on the Ganga river from Varanasi to Kolkata, the Shipping Ministry of India said.
It will be Maersk's first container movement in the 1390-km inland waterway in the River Ganga from Haldia to Varanasi.
"Maersk Line will move 16 containers on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) from Varanasi to Kolkata tomorrow. The firm is onboard India's inland waterways for the first time," the ministry said in a statement.
The Indian government has been developing National Waterway-1 with technical and financial assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of around $790 million.
On November 12, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated India's first riverine multimodal terminal on river Ganga (NW-1) at Varanasi to the nation.
"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 by India's Ministry of Shipping said.
Listing out the benefit of the container cargo, the ministry said that it reduces handling costs, allows for easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, and also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprint.
Earlier firms like PepsiCo, Emami Agrotech, IFFCO Fertilizers, Dabur India, had moved their containers on river Ganga, it added.