Mangaluru: The first RO-RO (Roll-on/Roll-off) service has been launched at the New Mangalore Port on 20 October, 2015 making it the first port to introduce RO-RO service in India via sea. Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) M.V. Maria India, a 160 metre long Ro-Ro ship with a capacity to carry up to 150 loaded trucks and 210 cars, called at the port and started its operation.
This vessel will be operating between Mangaluru-Hazira. With a high operating speed of 16 Knots, the ship can cover Mangaluru–Hazira in less than 36 hours. The entire round trip voyage including time at the ports will be 5 days. The service is taken up by Link Shipping and Management System Pvt. Ltd. M/s Alvares and Thomas are steamer agents and stevedores. Loaded trucks to Surat were driven into the vessel and the vessel sailed out. The drivers of the trucks also started in a special bus to Hazira and they will drive out in their respective vehicles.
The unique feature of this vessel is that loaded trucks and cars can be driven into the vessel and driven out once it reaches its final destination. This coastal service between Mangaluru and Hazira which covers a road distance of over 1200 kms will contribute substantial savings to truck operators by way of reduced fuel consumption, wear & tear of vehicles, toll charges, delays in border crossing, risk of long distance driving in addition to the advantage of de-congestion in road movement. This service is part of the Union Government’s policy of implementing the Vision for Coastal Shipping, Tourism and Regional Development. Now the customers can make use of this cost-effective, reliable and environment-friendly mode of transport.
The Port is making all out efforts to attract more coastal movement and in this direction, exclusive berths, storage sheds and gates are earmarked for coastal shipping.