Banking on India

Political stability in India has prompted global shipping lines to launch two new services to the country recently. The direct IEX link to and from Europe is one, the MIAX service another one; the latter ensures better links with Africa and the Middle East.

India has tended to get lost a little in China’s shadow of late, but now the country’s prospects have (once again) triggered trade hopes. Though Indian GDP growth reached a five-year low recently, it nevertheless stood at 5.8%. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reduced its projection for GDP growth in 2019 / 2020 from 7.3% recently, with the United Nations following suit (from 7.1%). The portal .transportjournal.com informs about this.

The country’s oft-criticised economic policies seem to have had a positive impact recently. The results of the Indian parliamentary elections in summer were surpri­singly positive for the old and new prime minister, Narendra Modi. There are some signs pointing to a renewed takeoff.

Two new services.

Now the global maritime shipping industry has reacted to these latest developments by launching two (partially) new services in October; the Southeast India – Europe Express (IEX) and the Middle East – India – Africa Express (MIAX).

The IEX service will become the market’s only direct link between southern and eastern India and Europe. The weekly option is jointly offered by Cosco, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE and YML and will see nine 6,500 teu vessels playing their trade. The first sailings in the trade are scheduled to take place on 26 October.

The MIAX service, which starts on 12 October, will cater to growing demand for transport capacities between India and Africa. Hapag-Lloyd will offer the MIAX service together with ONE. Overall, nine vessels with a capacity to carry 2,800 teu each will be deployed on this new route.

Strong involvement from Hamburg.

Five of the ships in MIAX are provided by Hapag-Lloyd, with the Hamburg-based carrier contributing four units to the IEX option. The Subcontinent has always been close to its heart. Dheeraj Bhatia, Hapag-Lloyd’s senior managing director for the Middle Eastern region, said that the line’s motivation to once again extend its existing portfolio was to “make sure we meet all the needs of our Indian customers.”

Terminal operators have also welcomed the move. Rizwan Soomar, DP World’s CEO for the Indian Subcontinent, said that “the IEX and MIAX services will stimulate exports and imports, and provide Indian producers with better links to global markets. We’re very pleased that HL has decided to cooperate with DP World.” His company is one of the largest terminal operators in India.

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