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CMA CGM ‘Keen To Play A Key Role’ In Inland Waterways In India

French shipping leader CMA CGM is mulling to move goods through inland waterways in India but is awaiting clarity on certain aspects before it takes a call on it, said a company top official.

“We are very excited about the prospects of inland waterways in India. We are in touch with the inland waterways authority. What we now need is more understanding about how the government will create related infrastructure, set timelines and assure continuity of trade across the identified route of National Waterways 1 and National Waterways 2.

Vincent Ugo, Managing Director, CMA CGM

Logistics division is already hoping high with Modi 2.0 and CMA CGM is following suit. In its first term, the Modi government had come out with ambitious plans to utilise inland waterways by announcing National Waterway 1 between Haldia in West Bengal and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

Ugo said countries in North-West Europe like Germany, France and the Netherlands do a great amount of trade via inland waterways, and that his group is confident that this can be replicated in India as well.

CMA CGM is “keen to play a key role”, he said. Companies like CMA CGM hire local ships or barges to transport their containers inland. It is also looking at green bunkering very seriously, Ugo said, adding that change in norms may compel all to switch that way.

It can be noted that its European peer Maersk Line has already begun moving containers from Varanasi to Kolkata. The NW-1 is being built at a cost of Rs 5,369 crore with assistance from the World Bank.

Companies such as Pepsico, Emami Agrotech, IFFCO Fertilizers, Dabur India, have moved their containers on river Ganga till now. Meanwhile, Ugo also said the group is looking at digitisation in a big way and has started a portal for its customers for end-to-end services.


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