During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the Maldives in June 2019, the Ministries of Port, Shipping, and Waterways of India and the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation of the Maldives signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of Passenger and Cargo Services by Sea. To move this along and to reaffirm the mutual understanding between the two nations, this service is now being offered. Additionally, this is consistent with the “neighbourhood-first policy” and the regional vision of security and growth for all.
The Shipping Corporation of India-deployed vessel “M.V. MSS Galena,” with a capacity for 421 TEUs of containers and the ability to transport bulk cargo, landed at PSA SICAL Container Terminal on May 4, 2023. At the PSA SICAL Container Terminal, 270 TEUs of containers were put on it. On May 7, 2023, the “M.V. MSS Galena” sailed from Tuticorin to Male. This shipping service will make three calls each month in the rotation of Tuticorin-Male-Tuticorin.
Shantanu Thakur, speaking at the event, stated that the beginning of this historic and ground-breaking service concretely fulfilled the promise made by our honourable prime minister during his visit to the Maldives. This initiative not only lowered logistical and other costs, but it also improved connection and decreased the amount of time it took to carry commodities between our two nations. He stated this service encouraged, developed, and stabilised shipping connections between Indian and Maldivian ports, opening a new chapter to connectivity operations launched by both countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). This will further boost bilateral commerce between India and the Maldives, creating more trade and economic prospects as well as strengthening maritime trade connections with renewed enthusiasm between the two nations, he added.