SIS Service Maiden Call at DP World Mundra Terminal Credit DP World India
SIS Service Maiden Call at DP World Mundra Terminal Credit DP World India

As intra-country cargo builds around Indian west coast ports, feeder lines are flocking to connect the area to the Far East, shifting transhipment away from Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port.

As shippers desperately search for mainline connections in an acutely imbalanced market, DP World feeder unit Feedertech this week joined the move, opening an India-Far East service.

The launch follows a similar short-haul investment move by Singapore-based regional operator Samudera Shipping Line (SSL).

Dubai-based DP World, which acquired Feedertech in 2019, has deployed three containerships weekly linking its marine terminals at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Mundra in India with Singapore and Port Klang (Malaysia), with its Straits India Service (SIS).

“This will further boost trade between India and the Far East by providing customers with opportunities to grow their business and offer seamless connections to Malaysia and Singapore as an alternative to transhipping at Colombo Port, thereby improving lead times and reducing costs,” it said.

The SIS began Indian coverage with the Ornella, which called at JNPT on 4 December and at Mundra two days later.

According to industry observers, more feeder connections have become a tailwind for both JNPT and Mundra to bolster their hub operations, where the latter had already built a significant presence through its terminal partnerships with CMA CGM and MSC.

The growing interest from feeder operators has also been driven by a stronger realisation among Indian east coast shippers to reroute more cargo to JNPT as an alternative to traditional relay options at Colombo.

DP World has been actively pursuing end-to-end or integrated logistics solutions in India, including acquiring three business units of Mumbai-based Transworld Group, Transworld Feeders, Avana Logistek, and Transworld Feeders (Shreyas Shipping), in August 2020, as well as several container warehousing depots across the country.

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