The Government is exploring new avenues for promotion of shipping, commerce and trade through coastal shipping. A Coastal Shipping Agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh in June 2015. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) between the two countries was also signed in November 2015 to implement the Coastal Shipping Agreement.
Details of trucks sent directly to Bangladesh through sea route since October 2017 are given below:-
Benefits of sending trucks through sea routes are
(i) it reduces the load on rail and road traffic.
- it saves fuel consumption and offers a greener alternative to cargo movement.
- it is cost effective compared to the Road and Rail mode of transport.
- it reduces carbon footprint.
As per the Agreement, sea transport from India to Bangladesh is treated as a coastal movement, making it eligible for 40 percent concession on vessel-related and cargo related charges. Apart from above, Haldia Dock Complex under Kolkata Port Trust has been declared as a Transshipment Port for containerised cargo originating from/destined to Bangladesh to attract more cargo movement through sea-route.
Further to enhance the trade, an agreement on the use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports in Bangladesh for movement of goods to and from India was signed between the two countries in October 2018.