On January 8, 2023, the barge “MV Bulker I” was flagged off from the Haldia port. The first leg of the journey was through the inland waterways using Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route to the transfer point at Ashuganj port in Bangladesh. The bars were then unloaded and the second leg transportation via road to a Land Port Authority of India warehouse at Agartala at the India-Bangladesh border was carried out. In the third and final leg of the journey, trucks were used to transship goods from this warehouse to the distributor’s warehouse in Agartala. Tata Martrade International Logistics Limited (TMILL) was in-charge of the entire logistics management for this maiden voyage. The entire transportation from flag-off to the receiving of material at distributor’s warehouse was completed in 17 days.
The flag-off event was virtually inaugurated by Peeyush Gupta, Vice President GSP and Supply Chain, Tata Steel. D. Samanta of TM International Logistics Limited (TMILL) and A.K. Mahapatra, GM (Traffic), Haldia Dock Complex also joined the ceremony.
Peeyush Gupta, Vice President, GSP and Supply Chain, Tata Steel, said: “The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route serves as a reliable integrated logistics solution for both Bangladesh and India to use inland waterways and will further help expand our consumer reach to better serve the growing North-Eastern market. The route exemplifies efficient utilisation of the river-sea combination as a mode of transport and multimodal movement. This endeavour supports the objectives of the PM’s Gati Shakti programme and is an initiative to lower the Company’s Scope 3 carbon footprint and will contribute to decarbonising the steel sector.”
Ranjan Sinha, Chief Group Shipping, Tata Steel, said: “Tata Steel along with the TMILL team is proud of the efforts undertaken in the execution of this shipment. The Company hopes to shorten the timelines even further to serve its clients. The possibility of using this route to service additional, smaller-lot regions along the river is also worth exploring. The Indo Bangladesh Protocol route is more economical as well as environmentally more responsible.”
Earlier in 2022, the Company had successfully shipped 1,800 tonnes of finished steel products from Haldia Port in West Bengal to Pandu Port in Assam using the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route via the Brahmaputra River. The commencement of the use of Inland Waterways, a historic initiative to decarbonise the steel industry and the nation, was flagged off by Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways & Ministry of Ayush.
India’s desire to realise its ambitions envisioned under the National Logistics Policy relies heavily on the utilisation of multimodal transportation, which would include an interconnected inland waterways system. This will lessen the amount of material moved through chicken neck, hence reducing the overall distance and reliance on rail and road, as well as aid in the decarbonisation of the logistics sector.