In a bid to commence coastal shipping services, Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will collaborate with Inland Waterways Authority (IWAI). The coastal shipping activities will be undertaken by its wholly-owned subsidiary – Inland & Coastal Shipping. “We will announce a collaboration with IWAI very soon. We are commencing coastal shipping operations,” says HK Joshi, SCI, Chairman and Managing Director. Inland & Coastal Shipping, a Kolkata-headquartered company, is likely to start its operation on national waterway-1, the stretch from Varanasi to Haldia on Ganga river. Coastal shipping accounts for only two per cent of the country’s freight movement. SCI has interests in various segments of the shipping trade, and its fleet includes bulk carriers, crude oil tankers, container vessels and passenger-cum-cargo ships. At a time when exporters are facing a shortage of containers, Joshi emphasised the importance of making the country self-reliant in terms of its availability.