State-owned Container Corporation of India has launched a regular intermodal rail service between the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal at Cochin Port and Bangalore, a southern hinterland destination, following an appeal by terminal operator DP World.
The request followed Zim Integrated Shipping Services making Cochin as a first port of call in its Asia-India Subcontinent-East Med (AME) Service, effective at the end of last month. The Zim China, one of 11 vessels deployed on the weekly service, made its maiden visit to the Vallarpadam terminal on March 26.
“In order to connect Bangalore exports and imports from ICTT, Concor has agreed to run one train per week from Bangalore to Cochin and back to Bangalore to connect the AME service with immediate effect. Besides, Concor has also revised its Bangalore-Cochin rail tariff downwards to encourage exporters to start using their rail services to ICTT,” DP World Cochin said in a trade notice.
The Dubai-based terminal operator also said the port authority has agreed to increase the maximum draft of container ships calling at the Vallarpadam terminal from the current 14 meters (46 feet) to 14.5 meters (approximately 48 feet) by April 15 with additional channel dredging.
VICTT is a public-private partnership between DP World and Cochin Port Trust, having started commercial operations in February 2011.