In A First, Amazon India To Use Rivers And Backwaters To Transport E-com Cargo


E-commerce giant Amazon will soon begin using inland waterways for transportation of customer shipments and products.

This comes after the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to facilitate the movement of containerised cargo through inland waterways.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), Sarbananda Sonowal said, “ There has been an understanding between the IWAI and Amazon with the main motive to present the power and possibilities of waterways. The maiden ship with e-commerce cargo will be flagged off from Patna to Kolkata soon.”

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A pilot will soon be initiated on the National Waterways 1 route between Patna and Kolkata with the support of IWAI and its carriers.

The Inland Waterways Authority of India is implementing the Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) for capacity augmentation of National Waterways 1 route – a 1,390-km stretch between Varanasi (in Uttar Pradesh) and Haldia (in West Bengal), at an estimated cost of Rs 4,633.8 crore.

The IWAI-Amazon partnership adds a new mode of transport to its supply chain: navigable inland waterways of potentially 14,500 km, comprising of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. This will ensure faster and cost-effective delivery of customer packages and provide a wider reach to its millions of sellers.

Further, the partnership will not only benefit Amazon by lowering their transportation cost but also open up new possibilities for all e-commerce companies to leverage the extensive inland waterways in India.

In the last few years, Amazon took several steps to build its fulfilment, transportation, and logistics infrastructure in India. In January this year, the company launched Amazon Air in India, making it the first e-commerce company in the country to have a dedicated air cargo network.