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It is what everyone involved in Indian shipping appears to have been waiting for – with the obvious exception of domestic shipowners, who have constantly lobbied against dropping the country’s cabotage restrictions, despite not having the capacity to move much container traffic anyway.

Whether the move results in transhipment traffic shifting from Colombo to mainland India ports remains to be seen, but it would certainly appear to work in favour of lines such as MSC and CMA CGM which are investing in port facilities.

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