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Maersk Line is raising the bar on integrated logistics solutions in India, as customers continually demand more on the supply chain-side in a highly competitive market environment.
The carrier’s latest effort around that pro-customer approach is a multi-modal end-to-end containerised cargo provision – involving truck, rail and barge services – for a last-mile delivery from West India to Mongla Port in Bangladesh. Mongla is Bangladesh’s busiest cargo gateway after Chittagong Port.
“The cargo is moving from the shipper’s factory to ICD Mihan in Nagpur by road, after which it is connected to Kolkata on rail,” a spokesperson for Maersk (India) told The Loadstar, explaining the bespoke logistics offering.
“From Kolkata, the cargo will head to Mongla on a barge facilitated by Maersk.”
In conjunction with India’s public rail company, the Container Corporation of India (Concor), the carrier set up the first such train trip from the Nagpur ICD to Kolkata Port on 3 February.
“This multimodal solution is designed to improve transit time, reduce supply chain inefficiencies and lead time, promote sustainability and cost efficiency,” Concor said in a statement. “This is an end-to-end solution for container movement from customer factory, including first-mile connectivity, customs clearance, rail movement and barge connection.”
The unique cross-border offering is a step further towards Maersk’s expanding multimodal profile in the Indian market as it works to meet trade expectations on service levels.
To that end, the carrier has in recent months begun to concentrate on fielding block train services that provide significant transit time benefits for shippers, compared with typical mixed train trips designed on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) model.
Concor noted that a successful pilot run should encourage Maersk to make regular similar multimodal bookings for destinations in Bangladesh and other East Asian nations.
“Concor expects to add many more customers and commodities for this stream in the near future as there is regular export of cargo like transmission tower parts, tractors, cotton yarn, food grains etc. to Bangladesh by various exporters in Nagpur and nearby areas,” the statement noted.
The latest Maersk-Concor logistics tie-up comes on the heels of a 100-cargo-terminal development programme, announced as part of the Indian government’s budget proposals for fiscal year 2022-23.