Maersk Sealand launches new India-Saudi service

Maersk Sealand launches new India-Saudi service

Maersk Sealand has launched a new service connecting the Port of Pipavav in western India with Jebel Ali in Saudi Arabia.

The fixed-day, weekly service is being operated with two 1,100-TEU feeder vessels, catering not only to cargo from western Gujarat state but also opening a new gateway to North India as an alternative to the congested Port of Jawaharlal Nehru.

India first private port, Pipavav is owned by Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited (GPPL), a joint venture between the western state of Gujarat and the private sector. The other equity partners in the port are Maersk Sealand, Singapore's PSA Corp. and British-based Commonwealth Development Corp.

Pipavav, which got a boost earlier this year when a new rail opened to the northern and northwestern regions, was commissioned in 1996 mainly as a bulk and liquid cargo facility. A full-fledged container terminal for main line ships is to be developed with an estimated handling capacity of 600,000 TEUs a year.

- N. Vasuki Rao in New Delhi