The Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FFFAI) held the webinar to discuss significant developments regarding the new International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) routes connecting India with CIS nations and how these routes may create new opportunities for the EXIM community. The newest advancements on the INSTC route were presented during the webinar by Shankar Shinde, Chairman FFFAI, and Sohel Kazani, Executive Committee Member, FFFAI. At this webinar, presentations on the development of Chabahar Port were given by Sunil Mukundan, MD, Indian Global Ports; Hossien Habibolahi, MD, India Ports Global CFZ; and Shailesh Makawana, Indian Ports Global. Numerous FFFAI members and logistics experts from all over the country attended the webinar.
The International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) connects India, Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia, and Europe with a 7,200-km multimodal network of ship, rail, and road routes for moving freight. The route largely entails transporting cargo via sea, train, and road from India, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
The amenities and advantages of the Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar Port, as well as its advantages as a transit location and incentives/discount schemes on warehousing and terminal handling fees, were highlighted by Sunil Mukundan and Shailesh Makwana.
During this webinar, the FFFAI Chairman urged members to participate in movements through INSTC for CIS/Russia destinations, which can also enhance European destinations. Additionally, he recommended people use the Indian ports of JNPT, Kandla, and Shahid Beheshti, which offer cheaper rates that can be used by EXIM traders. The logistics service providers should target untapped customers in this new opportunity area. It is important to note that the FFFAI completed a study on the viability of the INSTC Route and Chabahar Port with TIR and submitted it to the Indian government.
Sohel Kazani highlighted the recent changes to the INSTC route in terms of volume growth, vessel movements, adjustments to freight rates, and cost reductions. Regarding this method, there have also been recent advancements in the banking industry. Kazani also emphasised the most recent advancements since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan’s government system.
Highlights of new developments on the INSTC Route include:
- A total of 102 projects have been identified to develop the INSTC routes.
- The participation of new vessel operators provides regular service to Iran.
- Banking: Yes Bank and UCO Bank have formed a partnership with two Russian banks. Through this deal, both of these institutions will get India closer to conducting business with Russia.
UCO Bank has partnered with Gazprom Bank, while Yes Bank has also formed an arrangement with the Commercial Bank of Moscow in Russia.
- FIATA Bill of Lading through FFFAI is made available to members: Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading (FBL) is now available in a secured digital format through TMSs and other platforms.