MSC expands services as new markets grow in India


In a strategic move to tap into emerging markets within India, MSC is extending its services with secondary port calls to bring shippers closer to potential growth opportunities in the country's interior regions. The recent launch of a container feeder shuttle service between Paradip in Odisha and Colombo in Sri Lanka anticipates the beginning of a significant trade boost from this relatively untapped area.

The inaugural sailing of the MSC Tiger F saw around 130 TEU of exports from shippers like Vedanta Aluminium and Jindal Stainless. MSC plans to operate three calls a month on the Paradip-Colombo route, with the port authority of Paradip offering substantial discounts on vessel-related charges to attract container liners and make calls commercially viable.

Furthermore, the Odisha government is offering compensation to ship operators in the form of viability gap funding (VGF) if the export/import volume during a ship call at Paradip falls below a certain threshold. This incentive aims to encourage more container traffic through the port.

While Paradip has traditionally focused on dry and liquid bulk trades, recent developments, including a concession deal with JM Baxi Group for a multipurpose cargo terminal, have diversified its cargo mix. The port is now poised to handle around 200,000 TEU of containerized trade annually.

Other terminal operators, such as PSA Mumbai at Nhava Sheva port, are also showing interest in the emerging Odisha market by establishing logistics arrangements to connect cargo from the hinterlands. The Indian government's push for large-scale industrial and electronics production lines, as part of the "China-plus-one" sourcing model, is driving trade diversification trends in Asia. This trend promises cargo expansion opportunities for ocean carriers serving Indian trades through direct calls and transshipment.



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