Textile mills in the State of Tamil Nadu to reduce the cost of transportation for importing cotton from Gujarat have started to use the shipping route, instead of road. The volume this year increased to 2,600 containers till January as against 1,200 containers of cotton transported by sea last year from Gujarat to Tamil. It is expected to touch about 4,400 containers by the end of this month.
T. Rajkumar, Chairman of Southern India Millsâ€™ Association (SIMA) said that while the cost of transporting one bale of cotton by road from Gujarat to Tamil Nadu works out to nearly Rs. 850, same by ship it work between Rs. 640 and Rs. 790.
During the last three months, the SIMA has held discussions with the Indian National Ship Ownersâ€™ Association and the revised rates for transport by ship ranges between Rs. 590 and Rs. 730 for a bale of cotton.
While one shipper is offering the service now, two more have expressed interest.
The SIMA had written to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister seeking steps to bring down the cost further. Most of the cotton from Gujarat or Maharashtra arrive at the Tuticorin port.
While the Centre should bring down the levies on fuel, the State government should relax the norms such as those on the number of moves in ports.
Some textile mills bring cotton from Gujarat by ship and even send return cargo (fabric or garments) to the northern States in the same container.
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