Milaha Maritime & Logistics, a subsidiary of the Qatar based Milaha Group which delivers integrated transport and supply chain solutions in the GCC, has announced the launch of the first direct container service between Qatar and India. The non-stop service will connect Qatar’s Doha port with India’s largest port Nhava Sheva, also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, located in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The move will further facilitate the thriving trade activities between the two countries that have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the recent years.
Unlike existing services in the market, the new weekly service by Milaha will enable direct shipments between Nhava Sheva and Doha without the need for transshipment in Jebel Ali or elsewhere, thus increasing reliability and reducing transit time and costs. With an end of the week sailing, Indian exporters will benefit from a late cut-off providing more time to bring cargo into the port. With a reduced transit time, shipments of perishable products for the Qatari market will better retain freshness and quality. Moreover, the new service may open up for new perishable commodity segments which – due to previous transit time – were previously not an option.
Mr. Khalifa Ali Al-Hetmi, President and CEO of Milaha, said: “We express our thanks to the Jawaharlal Nehru Port for their support in reinforcing bilateral relations between Qatar and India that has gathered significant pace over the years. The launch of a fast and direct container service by Milaha will support the increasing trade volume, where imports into Qatar from India reached a total value of USD 989 million in 2013-2014.”
The new service, which is named NDX, will not only bolster Milaha Maritime & Logistics’ feeder commitment to the Indian market, but also increase Milaha’s presence in non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) activities. In addition, the new non-stop service will strengthen the company’s existing feeder network with the UAE with more fixed connections.
“The commencement of operation at Nhava Sheva’s Shallow Water Berth (SWB) has opened new business opportunities for handling smaller vessels, operating particularly from the Gulf region. We have allotted a fixed window slot to Milaha Maritime & Logistics to operate the Nhava Sheva Doha Express (NDX) service. We extend our full cooperation to the company to make use of the mechanized facility at SWB and benefit the trade between both countries,” concluded Neeraj Bansal, IRS, Chairman-in-Charge, Jawaharlal Nehru Port.