Speaking at a function organized by the industry association Assocham recently, Amitabh Kumar, Director General, Shipping asserted that the government has drawn ambitious targets for cargo transportation by coastal and inland waterways routes in the next five years. He also strongly advocated the need of setting up a dedicated marketing organisation to shift the load from conventional means of transportation to inland waterways.
“Problem with the shipping industry is even if the cargos are available, the routes are not financially viable. There is the dearth of goods that need to be transported. There is enough produce available in the hinterland to fill thousands and thousands of ships. Logistics has the potential to be the biggest game-changer for India agriculture. What we lack in India is a good agglomeration service for small producers. The shipping industry is not known for engaging in marketing,” he said while adding that the cargo throughput potential via waterways is simply epic-scale in nature. “Transportation can be made multimodal mode. It will give us an impetus to start and provide end to end solution. In the next 5 years, the total transportation in the coastal goods will be increased from the present 2 million to 100 million,” he added.