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India is one of the largest subcontinents in the world, with a diverse history that was influence by middle kingdoms and western countries. The Indian shipping industry blossomed under the rule of the British East India Company and later the British Empire. However, with its independence, the Republic of India has since grown exponentially in terms of economy becoming the 7th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP as well as the 3rd largest by purchasing power parity in the world as per the “World Economic Outlook Database” report issued by the International Monetary Fund in April 2017.

The Indian Ocean covers approximately 20% of the water on the Earth and is one of the most travelled seas connecting the east to the west/middle west, and known as the “Mine of Gems”. The Arabian Sea makes up the smaller portion of waters that touches the coasts of western India, Somalia, Saudi Arabia (as well as Oman and Yemen), Pakistan, and Iran. The Bay of Bengal covers the southeast coast of India, as well as west of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands belonging to India.

The majority of trade that occurs with the subcontinents of India is through ocean/sea cargo. Where the Indian shipping industry is considered of being in ownership of the largest merchant shipping fleet and is home to 199 ports and approximately 7500k of coastline. As the 16th largest maritime country in the world, the India shipping industry is a popular stop in international trade routes, both over sea and road.

With the observed trend of the Indian shipping industry, the Ministry for Shipping, Road Transport, and Highways has decided to investment in infrastructure development to growing needs including the development of ten coastal economic regions as well as continue the Sagarmala project. Furthermore, the government of the Republic of India has set aside goals for the Indian shipping industry in its 12th Five Year Plan and not to mention the Maritime Agenda for the 2010 -2020 decade plan, thus much is expected to improve in terms of the Indian Ocean market share.

With China making plans on the global shipping industry with its One Belt, One Road initiative to connect the east to the west over road, sea, and air, India too is looking to measure to stay aligned with the developments and trends in the region. One of the key players in the market share of the India Ocean trade routes is Sri Lanka, with China investing in the developments of the Hambantota and Colombo Port project. The eastern port of Trincomalee has been offered for foreign investment participation by the Sri Lankan government, but a play has yet to be made from India.

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For centuries before the advent of modern trading practices, the island of Sri Lanka was a key player in ancient Silk Road sea cargo trade routes. However, with changes in the global shipping industry, the introduction of China’s One Belt and One Road initiative and new oil shipping routes, Sri Lankan ports have been highlighted as critical maritime hubs in Asia.


The Port of Colombo

The port of Colombo is one of the oldest trading ports in the island. However, primary trading was only moved here in the 18th century from the Port of Galle, following the construction of the breakwaters. Due to its strategic location on the path of international sea cargo trade routes, it’s one of the busiest ports in Asia, ranking in the top 35 ports in the world. Currently, there are further developments underway with foreign funding to develop the infrastructure to improve on this strategic port. The Port of Colombo operates 24/7.

The Port of Galle

The port of Galle has existed for a while with its discovery by the Portuguese in the 15th century. The Galle port was the primary port until the 18th century when the Colombo port was created with the aid of breakwaters. Currently, this port only offers mooring for two vessels alongside one another, but offers accommodation for yachts as well as offshore ship supply services.  This port operates 24/7 except on May 1st, but only offers daylight configuration. The Port of Galle was one of the most important ports of Sri Lanka during ancient sea cargo trade routes, and played an important part of sustaining the link between the east and the west.

The Port of Trincomalee

The port of Trincomalee is home to the world’s fifth largest natural harbour and during the centuries, many countries have fought for its ownership, with Portugal, Netherlands, Portugal, Great Britain, and France taking up arms to claim it. Whilst the Port of Trincomalee is more than ten times the size of the Colombo Port, its activities are restricted to that of bulk cark, industrial related activities, and daylight navigational services. It is a 24/7 operated port, as it is the home of the Sri Lankan Eastern Command Naval Base. Currently there are discussions underway offering India the opportunity to invest in the infrastructural development of the Trincomalee Port.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa Ruhunu Magampura Port of Hambantota

The newest port to be built in Sri Lanka, following the end of the war and built under the commission of then president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Port of Magampura is the southernmost port in the Indian Ocean between Sri Lanka and Antarctica. Whilst this is the newest port to be opened in recent times (it was declared open on 2010), navigators from ancient Greece had documented this location as allowing safe anchorage. Currently, the port is situated at a major intersection of the international sea trading routes, thus it has been used for movement of bulk commercial cargo and industrial port related services. It has two lighthouses to guide vessels safely into the port.

Other Minor Ports of Sri Lanka

The other ports of Sri Lanka, apart from the major four discussed in detail include the following.

  • Oluvil – One of the smallest ports of Sri Lanka, it is located in the east and currently used for fisheries and commercial activities, having opened in 2013.
  • Kankesanthurai – The northern-most Port of Kankesanthurai is currently administrated and maintained by the Sri Lankan Navy forces. The port, that is the closest to India was closed during the civil war. However, since the end of the war, India and Sri Lanka has begun clearing the Palk Strait and the port to revive it for future use in new sea trade routes being developed to lessen transit times.
  • Point Pedro – The northeastern port of Point Pedro is currently managed by Sri Lanka Army forces. However, with new sea trade routes being developed, the likes of Kankesanthurai and Point Pedro being utilised further will be possible, and thus will require further infrastructural developments.

Image Credit: Statfor

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India has long been a major contender in the Indian Ocean trade routes, both past and present. With the increasing demand for shipping services to India or from India to various global destinations, the ports of India have been in the limelight. When concerning ports of India, and maritime news from the subcontinent, its home to a 13 major port and 200 minor ports that contributes to the logistics industry in India.

The global shipping industry plays a vital role in India’s commerce and trade, and thus, the government has recently made plans to improve the infrastructure and developments of its ports, including a project “Sagar Mala” in an attempt to modernize the Ports of India. With close to 600 million of tonnes handled by major ports, the Indian government has also initiated the Natiports of Indiaonal Maritime Development Programme (NMDP) to further the maritime industry of India. With China, attempting to influence maritime trade routes within the profitable Indian Ocean, India has also been attempting to garner projects to secure their economic advancement.

China has most recently offered aid  to the like of Sri Lanka to advance their infrastructural developments, the most prominent being the MRMR (Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa) Port of Hambantota. This port, which is situated at the southern-most point of Sri Lanka, is the last area of land of the Indian Ocean before reaching Antarctica. Thus, it has gained much popularity as a stop for refilling fuel, crew changes, and cargo handling. The fact that this port is connected to the improved road developments has made it a convenient stop for shipping companies before continuing on their trade routes. Other ports that China has developed with the flush of capital include those in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh. With Sri Lanka being slated as having profitable geo-strategic positioned ports, with China holding much stake in them, the Sri Lankan government has propositioned the port of Trincomalee as a means of cooling the waters between the trio (that is, India, China and Sri Lanka). If India were to take on the Trincomalee Port project, India would be able to balance the scales on their favour to balance the power play on the Indian Ocean coverage of trading routes, especially with the modern day Silk Route by the Chinese making a play on area.

Thus with developments happening concerning the ports of India, and maritime news in the Asian shipping markets, it’s advisable to keep an eye on the horizon to ensure profitability in the future.

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Sri Lanka is home to a variety of ports along the island’s coast. With the island strategically placed, it’s an integral part of the trade routes, especially when concerning refuelling, crew changes and so forth. The major commercial ports of Sri Lanka include the likes of the Colombo Port, the Hambantota MRMR Port, and the Trincomalee Port to name a few. However, with the changes in the Sri Lankan container shipping market, keeping an eye on the news and the horizons is always recommended as good business practices.

The existing business models utilised within the global container shipping market and the mega-ships that operate within the industry have been missing their mark in terms of fulfilling the requirements of the carriers or the customers in question. With the ever-increasing distance between the carriers’s provision of quality services and the expectations of the customers requiring such services, the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) has addressed the need for change. The changes will also affect the Sri Lankan container shipping market, as the new market structure will potentially change the norms as we now know.

The GSF Report, “The Implications of Mega-Ships and Alliances for Competition and Total Supply Chain Efficiency: An Economic Perspective” factors in the global container shipping industry, and analyses the competition policy between major shipping carriers as well as how consolidation (through mergers/acquisitions vertically) impacts the industry, including the Sri Lankan container shipping market. With these changes, it is also important that the competition policies and regulations also be updated to ensure a fair yet improved market structure to operate in. Whilst previous assessments have rendered that agreements for sharing vessels and alliances being formed in vertical integration is good for competition, the new market structure will remove parameters previously used for competition such as sail frequency, ship capacity, and ports of call. Many have questioned whether working with independent shippers would be better than dealing with allied shipping corporations.

Mr. Welsh, the Secretary General of the GSF, has stated the following in relation to the GSF report;

“Certain shippers believe that a degree of vertical integration between shippers and shipping companies is a potential method to increase the alignment of incentives between shippers and shipping lines. The nature of such integration, and the extent to which it might alleviate the problems felt by shippers, would of course need to be explored. Given the complexity of the issue, and the need for balanced consideration across the container shipping supply chain, there is strong merit in there being an active ongoing debate on the implications of mega-ships and alliances which GSF is keen to foster with the container shipping industry and other stakeholders.”

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India spans over 3 million square kilometres, with a population of over 1 billion people. When you take the size of the subcontinent and the lack of proper infrastructure, there has been much talk about logistical issues in India. These include issues concerning complicate taxation laws, congested airports, and not to mention road networks that need much development. Despite these issues, Transco Cargo with our parent company Transco International strive to offer the best shipping services to India from Australia. If you are keen on understanding the process of sending freight to India, you will find the article quite useful. Furthermore, the Indian government has taken notice of the infrastructure issues concerning the Indian logistics industry.

The National Highways Development Program is keen on revitalising the expressways, railways, airports, and seaports to further connectivity from the various regional hubs. As India holds memberships with various regional and bilateral trade agreements, these infrastructure improvements to the logistics industry will help further strengthen global ties and sending freight to India. They include the likes of the following.

  • WTO (World Trade Organisation)
  • WCO (World Customs Organisation)
  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
  • Montreal Protocols
  • Wassanaar Agreement (Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

There are two types of clearances when exporting or importing to India, which are Courier (OBC) or Express Mode of Entry, and Cargo or Formal Entry. Thus, when you are sending freight to India, you need to keep them in mind for classification purposes. Courier (OBC)/Express Mode of Entry essentially refers to non-commercial cargo or packages. These usually include the likes of small gifts, documents and samples, but can be restrictive in terms of the regulations associated with it. However, it’s considerably faster to utilise this type f clearance when sending freight to India than the Cargo/Formal Entry option. The latter refers to freight cargo shipments that are commercial. India has several clearance locations (16) throughout its subcontinent. These clearing locations through India in alphabetical order include Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Jaipur, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Kolkata, New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ludhiana, Pune, Cochin, Indore, Moradabad, and Varanasi.

When sending freight to India (that is exporting from Australia), you will require to have the following shipping documents sorted; Commercial Invoice, Certificate of Origin, Packing List, Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED), Bill of Entry.  Similarly, when importing to Australia from India, you would require similar shipping documentations with the exception that the Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED)and Bill of Entry are not required. Instead, you will need the likes of Shipper’s Letter of Instruction (SLI), Seller’s Declaration Form (SDF), Guaranteed Remittance Form (GR) or Exchange Control Declaration (ECD).

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We are already nearing the end of the first quarter of 2017. With it in mind, we look at the projects that the government is involved with, as well as how these affect the Sri Lankan maritime industry. It is safe to say that key players in the global logistics arena will also affect the way Sri Lanka and its neighbouring India and other countries in maritime cargo routes will interact.

The Colombo Port City has been a much debated and discussed project with politics and concerning changing government. The project is funded by China who had offered Sri Lanka capital during the war efforts, and thereafter heavily invested in post-war infrastructure projects such as the Hambantota Port, and now the Colombo Port City.

Many environmentalists have also raised concerns due to the dredging of sea sand from the bottom of the ocean, and how it affect0073 marine life. However, upon conducting several environment investigations (namely these reports included the likes of EIA (Environmental Impact Assessments) and SEIA (Supplementary EIA). Once investigations have been carried out, there are presented to an expert committee at the Coast Conservation Department, which has in fact given the all clear to proceed with the project. However, the Port City is being rebranded as the Colombo International Financial City (CIFC). The CIFC project (formerly Colombo Port City) holds one of the biggest portions of the pie that makes up the future of the Sri Lankan maritime industry as well as the growth of the economy. The basis that the project will succeed has been based on case studies of other countries that have carried out reclaimed land projects such as Dubai and Doha.

With China looking to export its excess capital,   one of the most notable projects in the global maritime industry would be “One Belt One Road,” the 21st century maritime silk route strategy. Aligning the future of the Sri Lankan maritime industry with the Maritime Silk Road (MSR) is may be increasingly profitable to the Sri Lankan economy with Chinese investments.

In addition, with the Trump administration looking to Indian interests, this could prove favourable to Sri Lanka in the long run. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government has made necessary adjustments to the 2017 Budget, with reductions of expenditure however, high taxes may cause a dip in consumption, as well as high interests and corporate tax too may cause ripples in the investments arena. With these in mind, we recommend keeping a keen eye on the horizon for the future of the Sri Lankan maritime industry.

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With the help of the internet and online transactions, the trends of online small businesses have skyrocketed. From the likes of ebay and etsy sellers, instagram and facebook shops, to the likes of t-shirt designers, beauty and lifestyle bloggers and more, shipping may be part of their marketing and communications strategy. That is why we have put together these shipping tips for small businesses.

First and foremost, you need shipping boxes or envelopes that will be your choice of transport medium. These can be purchased from Transco Cargo, where you are given the pick of the shipping materials whether you are looking to ship small packages, documents and the likes. Apart from this you will also be allowed the option of choosing packing materials such as bubble wrap, cling film and also packing peanuts.

Usually, what someone who conducts an online small business would be to have for themselves branded packaging materials. That will then be inserted to the shipping box purchased from the likes of a reliable shipping company in Melbourne, such as Transco Cargo. Now, this is done so that when the shipping box is open, the inner box containing your goods is perfectly intact. We have seen the likes of online wedding invitations companies use our services such as with using padded enveloped for samples and thereafter, using shipping boxes that are packed with packing peanuts when sending across their entire wedding invitations and stationery suites.

Another such example would be with small businesses that operate subscription boxes, one of the many shipping tips for small businesses such as these would be to load up on the shipping boxes ahead of time. Transco Cargo will deliver the needed number of shipping boxes to your location, along with the necessary packing materials so that you need not trouble yourself. So, when you team up with a reliable shipping partner such as Transco Cargo in Melbourne for your small business needs, you know that it will make your life easier and cut down on overheads. The best part is that they will also pick up your shipments so that you need not worry about transporting your shipment to our offices. We take the hassle out of the whole process.

With these shipping tips for small businesses, Transco Cargo has helped many small and upcoming businesses reach their goals and achieve greater heights!

Sending a Shipment to India from Australia through Transco Cargo

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In need of shipping forwarding company that can help you with sending a shipment to India from Australia. Look no further! With frequent sailings from Australia to wherever in India, Transco Cargo (part of the Transco International group) can be of great assistance to you. With a large network of agents throughout Australia, you are so much closer to getting the best shipping rate for sending a cargo shipment to India.

Working with Transco Cargo when sending a shipment to India is extremely easy; the following steps are all you really need.

  1. Visit the Indian Shipment Schedule
  2. Inquire via the Quick Quote for Shipping to India
  3. Hear back from our Shipping Representative Promptly via email or phone

Another way to go about it would be via the Mobile App we have launched, available both on iPhone and Android devices, where you can access the likes of the following;

  1. Shipment dates
  2. Pick/Drop Locations
  3. Quick Quote
  4. Box Delivery
  5. Blog & Newsletters

You can get all the info you are after at your fingertips, making it easier when you are sending a shipment to India.  The best place to get an idea on what shipping boxes or shipping chests/crates are ideal for your cargo, would be at the Personal Effects Boxes and Crates page. The dimension of each box is given in the page, and will help you decide which would be suitable to fit the cargo you are planning to send to India. The dimensions will be especially important when you are planning on sending your shipment to India on LCL basis, as the shipping rate is calculated based on volume.

We advise you should back small yet heavy items in the smaller cardboard boxes or smaller chests/crates (like the tea chest), and lighter but larger items in various quantities in the larger boxes or crates. This will help ensure the sturdiness and stability of the box or chest during LCL deconsolidation and consolidation.

If you are located in Victoria, Transco Cargo has three stuffing locations at the Campbellfield, Noble Park, and Hoppers Crossing warehouses. You can bring your cargo for you Indian shipment, and get help with loading the items. Another option would be to call us ahead of time, and then have us drop off the container off at the selected address when choosing FCL basis of shipping.

When it comes to personal baggage shipping, you can simply contact us and we will recommend the best option to take when it comes to either choosing air cargo or sea cargo for sending your accompanied personal baggage to India.

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In the event that you are planning a life changing move, such as a moving from Australia to India for work, or returning to India are your university stay in Australia, you may seek our professional help to get all the personal goods, accumulated over the years, across the sea. After all, you can’t possibly fit everything into your suitcases. Therefore, we recommend you think about packing your personal goods and using shipping containers to India.

The choice of what mode of container shipment will be based on the number of boxes and crates of goods. You can choose between LCL or FCL basis of shipping container to India, based on your requirement.

Usually, when moving household and personal goods, most opt for FCL shipping. The FCL basis of shipping containers to India essentially means using a full container to send your goods. After all, FCL stands for “Full Container Load”. Many choose this option for moving their personal goods and household items when using shipping container to India. The reason is that it offers advantages such a better lead time as well as the risk of damage caused due to deconsolidation/reconsolidation is removed as the entire container will only container your own cargo, and will not be shared with other shippers such as with LCL.

LCL container shipments, which stands for “Less than Container” load is usually chosen when you are sending a few shipping boxes or crates, that is when you do not have enough cargo to fill up your own 20ft or 40ft container. The container will be shared with other shipper’s cargo, and may require deconsolidation and reconsolidation at any port the ship may stop at.

Nevertheless, there are advantages to both modes of shipping containers to India. Where FCL offers you a flat shipping rate per choice of container (that is either a 20ft or 40ft container), the shipping rate for LCL cargo is based on volume, specifically in cubic metres. Like we mentioned before, if you are thinking of sending a small volume of goods via container shipping to India, then opting for LCL would be more advantageous as you are only paying based on the volume you are taking up. Considering your other option, which would be air freight, ocean freight via LCL is considerably cheaper though time-wise, air cargo would be faster.

Considering these choices of shipping containers to India, let us know what your chosen mode of transport would be and why! For our shipping schedule and calendar to India; visit our website or have a look at the following image!

 Transco Cargo to India Shipment Dates Calendar

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If you are considering moving your home overseas or even to another state, then you will be in need of efficient packing tips. When it comes to moving overseas or domestically, knowing these helpful packing and moving tips can mean a lot towards saving time, money and also a less-stressful move.

WIkihow Packing Tips

Packing Responsibility

Who will be packing your household goods and personal effects for your move? To many, packing up your home yourself may seem like the best course of action towards saving money on when moving your home and this case may be true in the case of an interstate move. However, if you are moving overseas and looking for efficient packing tips for boxing up your home for the move, then opting for professional packing help would be best. Professional packing services are offered by reputed freight forwarding and shipping companies such as Transco Cargo Australia and can guarantee speed and safety when packing your household goods and personal effects

Golden Tip of Packing Quickly

The one of the best efficient packing tips you can receive from anyone when moving your home overseas or domestically, is to decide what you really want to take with you. You can opt to discard the rest, whether you opt to recycle them or even sell them off. By doing so, you are optimising on space and opting to pay less for your shipping.

Packing Timeline

The best time to start planning moving your home is as soon as the decision has been made, that is when you have confirmed that you will be moving overseas or to another location in Australia. At this point, you should start prepping for the move, from deciding on how you want to handle the packing with the help of a packing strategy, or even with purchasing your packing materials and supplies including boxes, crates, bubble wrap, packing foam or peanuts and more. Setting up a packing calendar is also ideal, where you plan on packing and boxing away, items room by room, and planning the last items to be boxed as you get closer to you final date for the move.

Enlisting Help

When you know when you want to move, and have a packing strategy and calendar ready, enlisting help is ideal. Whilst,  professional packers may be enlisted, if you need help with figuring out what you really want to pack away, enlisting the help of your family and friends is recommended to discarding items you hope to leave behind (recycle, donate or sell). Organising what you want to pack is also helpful at this stage. By letting your family and friends know in advance, getting this done as early as on as possible will help in staying on top of your packing strategy and calendar.

With these efficient packing tips in mind, let Transco Cargo help you with your packing needs with our professional packers at your service when moving overseas or to another state in Australia.

Images: Wikihow, youtube