Tata Steel's shipment of TMT bars from Haldia Port in West Bengal to Pandu Port in Assam using the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) route via Brahmaputra River marks the beginning of the use of multimodal logistics - a landmark effort to decarbonise the steel sector of India and the country itself.
The IBP on Inland Water Transit & Trade that exists between India and Bangladesh allows inland vessels of one country to transit through the specified routes of the other country.
There are four existing protocol routes: Kolkata-Pandu-Kolkata, Kolkata- Karimganj-Kolkata, Rajshahi-Dhulian-Rajshahi, Pandu-Karimganj-Pandu.
The barge used the Indo-Bangla Protocol routes No.1 and 2 and entered the Brahmaputra River via Chilmari, in Bangladesh and ended its voyage at Dhubri in Assam covering 1,535 kilometres, reported India Blooms.
Tata Steel's shipment of nearly 1,800 tonnes of finished steel products that arrived at Haldia on rail before being loaded onto a river barge "Kalpana Chawla", was flagged off earlier last week by Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways of India, Sarbananda Sonowal.
The minister noted that the maiden voyage showcases multimodal movement of cargo by harnessing the power of the river-sea combination for transportation.
He urged other stakeholders to move in the same direction and commit to making it a grand national success.
Tata Steel Vice President Supply Chain Peeyush Gupta said, "The Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route will help us serve the growing North East market better. This route can also be explored for servicing other locations en route this waterway to deliver steel in smaller lots and in better condition for the benefit of customers in the North-East. The initiative paves the way for seamless and robust integrated logistics solutions towards utilising inland waterways for India and Bangladesh."