India Myanmar Service (IMS) Container service was launched at Chennai, to link South & East India to Myanmar. This service has actively been promoted by the Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Government of India in line with the enhanced trade relationship with Myanmar.
The service commenced with “m.v. SCI KAMAL”, a 1,200 TEU capacity vessel arriving in Chennai on her maiden call and to commemorate the launch organized on 3rd October 2014. Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Dr. Vishwapati Trivedi presided over the event along with Mr. A.K. Gupta, Chairman & Managing Director, The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd
The Shipping Corporation of India Limited, a premier Indian Shipping Company introduced “m.v. SCI KAMAL” exclusively on this run. Vessel on her maiden call at Chennai carried out a throughput exchange of 200 TEU’s with imports comprising commodities like pulses, timber, furniture etc. & exports comprising cement, general cargo & chemicals. The flagging off of the service took place in Chennai on 03.10.2014 and the new service is scheduled to call at Chennai every fortnight and operate on the following port rotation:
Chennai > Krishnapatnam > Yangoon > Colombo > Chennai
This service will boost bilateral trade relations between India and Myanmar by providing immense opportunities for manufacturers, importers & exporters in these countries. This service will open new avenues to the traders to the growing markets in India & Myanmar.
Dr. Vishwapati Trivedi remarked that the launch of the India – Myanmar Service was a direct offshoot of Government’s ‘Look East Policy’ by using northern Myanmar to reach in to Mizoram and other North-Eastern States using Sittwe port in Myanmar, on Bay of Bengal, situated at the mouth of the Kaladan River. He further commented “SCI has the wherewithal to sustain the service in the long run. We cannot expect to make profits from day one. However, in a year’s time, we expect the service will be well received by the trade”.
Dr. Vishwapati Trivedi further remarked that the Government is looking at starting a similar service to countries such as Thailand and Vietnam as part of the Look East policy, and as part of the Look East Policy, the Government will help the shipping industry in Bangladesh. Like the European Union, which has a strong network of ports, the Government will take steps to have a similar arrangement with neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Myanmar, he said.