Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Container Feeder Service from Logistics Group to Benefit Perishable Freight Customers

Weekly Shipments Intended to Cut Costs and Transit Times
Shipping News Feature

INDIA – QATAR – Milaha Maritime & Logistics, a subsidiary of the Qatar based Milaha Group which delivers integrated transport and supply chain solutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, has announced the launch of the first direct container service between Qatar and India. The non-stop service will connect Qatar’s Doha port with India’s largest port Nhava Sheva, also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The move aims to further facilitate the thriving trade activities between the two countries that Milaha says have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the recent years.

Unlike existing services in the market, the new weekly service by Milaha will enable direct shipments between Nhava Sheva and Doha without the need for transhipment in Jebel Ali or elsewhere, with the intention of increasing reliability and reducing transit time and costs. With an end of the week sailing, Indian exporters should benefit from a late cut-off providing more time to bring cargo into the port and with a reduced transit time, shipments of perishable products for the Qatari market will better retain freshness and quality. Moreover, the new service may open up for new perishable commodity segments which due to previous transit times had not been an option. Khalifa Ali Al-Hetmi, President and CEO of Milaha, said:

“We express our thanks to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port for their support in reinforcing bilateral relations between Qatar and India that has gathered significant pace over the years. The launch of a fast and direct container service by Milaha will support the increasing trade volume, where imports into Qatar from India reached a total value of $989 million in 2013-2014.”

The new service, which is named NDX, is intended to strengthen the company’s existing feeder network with the UAE with more fixed connections. The first vessel under the NDX service, the 23,623 DWT MV Convent arrived at Nhava Sheva’s Shallow Water Berth on March 20. Neeraj Bansal, Chairman of the Indian Port, added:

“The commencement of operation at Nhava Sheva’s Shallow Water Berth (SWB) has opened new business opportunities for handling smaller vessels, operating particularly from the Gulf region. We have allotted a fixed window slot to Milaha Maritime & Logistics to operate the Nhava Sheva Doha Express (NDX) service. We extend our full cooperation to the company to make use of the mechanised facility at SWB and benefit the trade between both countries.”