The State of West Bengal shipped close to 30,000 containers, around 8.4 lakh tonnes (lt) of rice in 2016-17 through the two ports. However, in 2017-18, it exported 13,000 containers (3.64 lt). The exports through the ports during April-December of the current fiscal is close to 12,000 containers (3.36 lt).
The exporters’ association feels the low draft at Kolkata Port and inadequate infrastructure, including non-availability of bulk cargo facility are the reasons for the decline. However, according to Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) officials, while it is partly due to operational issues, the decline in exports is also due to the demand-supply situation.
The exporters’ association also wanted warehouses in off-city limits as it proves to be difficult to bring containers within the city. The port trust is looking into it and has also asked exporters to come up with proposals.
Meanwhile, the KoPT has also extended the cut-off time to seven days as against five days as per trade demand. This will give more time for exporters to get the containers ready and shipped, the official said.
Source :- Dailyshippingtimes.com