A new ro-ro shipping service, carrying cars and other vehicles between India and Bangladesh, has been launched, with the intention to reduce both transit times and environmental impact. The maiden voyage on the service, made by the ro-ro general cargo ship, Idm Doodle, carried 185 trucks from Chennai to Mongla port.
Trucks being exported by Ashok Leyland were until now being dispatched to Bangladesh by an all-land route, a distance of about 1500 km. Switching transportation to the ocean route will save about 15-20 days of travel time, and it is estimated, by avoiding the congested Petrapole-Benapole check point at the Indo-Bangladesh border. As well as saving time, coastal transport will also be more cost effective and environment friendly.
Ashok Leyland expects that more than 500 trucks per month will be exported by the new ro-ro shipping route. This follows the signing in 2015 of a Coastal Shipping Agreement between India and Bangladesh, which allows goods being transported by sea from Indian to Bangladeshi ports to be treated as coastal movements, making them eligible for a 40 per cent reduction in vessel and cargo-related charges. The fuel consumption per tonne of cargo will be much lower by the sea route, and the modal switch will also reduce traffic on congested roads.