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Maersk pilots containerised cargo movement on Inland Waterway on river Ganga

Maersk deploys 16 containers from Varanasi to Kolkata on the recently inaugurated multimodal terminal on the river Ganga’s National Waterway 1

Maersk, a leading integrator of container logistics, began its first inland containerised cargo pilot movement in India through the country’s first multimodal terminal on river Ganga (National Waterway-1) from Varanasi to Kolkata. The company flagged off the vessel ‘M.V.Rabindranath Tagore’ loaded with 16 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units) of empty containers that will be plying from Multi-Modal Varanasi Terminal to RR Jetty in Kolkata, a distance of 1,390 km. The event marked another milestone for the company and is expected to further boost their business activity in and around the region.

“We would like to thank the Government of India - Department of Shipping, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), the state governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, and the Kolkata Port Trust for their initiative and support in driving this key agenda.” said Steve Felder, Managing Director for Maersk – South Asia on the side-lines of the event.

Despite the country’s vast coastline and river network, the containerisation level in India stands at only 57%, well below the global average. India has 14,500kms of navigable waterway, which can be utilized as a channel to move cargo within the country and to neighbouring countries, and potentially reduce logistics costs. Containerised cargo transport through Inland Waterways presents several inherent advantages such as reduced handling costs, easier modal shift, reduced pilferage and damages thereby enabling the cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.

“We truly believe that India’s trade growth is hidden in our hinterlands. As the global integrator of container logistics, we are focused on providing efficient supply chain solutions for our customers, and efficiently linking Indian importers and exporters in hinterland locations with markets around the world. The initiative will help facilitate the cargo movement from the hinterland to directly move to and from Bangladesh and rest of the world through Bay of Bengal.” he added.

India’s Multimodal Transportation Current Cost in India


Freight movement

1 litre of fuel can move

Cost of transporting 1 ton of freight over 1 km



24 tons




85 tons




105 tons



Source: Press Release

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