Freight transport on land has been a major form of transporting goods within the country for Maruti Suzuki. This time around, India’s largest carmaker will soon start a pilot project for transporting vehicles via inland waterways. Reports indicate that Maruti Suzuki and Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) have signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will enable transport of cars through inland vessels.
Hyundai successfully started transporting its cars through the coastal waterways earlier this year. The transportation cost incurred on water is about half of what it costs on land. Other Asian countries like China and Korea have been utilising their waterways more than 40 per cent, while India has been restricting itself to only about 5 per cent. However, this is expected to change soon given the recently passed Bill to convert more than 100 rivers in the country into National waterways.
In the coming days, we can expect to see more automakers opting for waterways for transportation of cars. With the Indian market being price sensitive in nature, the benefits could likely be passed on to the customers as well. To begin with, reports indicate that IWAI has deployed one vessel at Varanasi to transport the cars from Varanasi to Kolkata through National Waterway-1 on the river Ganga.