What is an ICD and what is its role in shipping industry?
Image from ICD where Container is offloading operation is done (Image from portotport.in)
Before ICD came into being, difficulties were experienced by the Exporters and Importers based in rural area to come to a long-distanced gateway Port for clearance of imported or export cargo. Later, with the development of multi-modal transport system with its stress on greater facilitation to importers and exporters, a need was felt to develop Inland Container Depot (ICD).
An ICD is a common user facility with public authority, equipped with fixed installations to offer handling and storage services of import and export laden and empty containers carried under Customs transit by applicable mode of transportation (by rail or road) under customs control. In ICDs, activities related to clearance of goods for home consumption, warehousing, re-export, temporary storage for onward transit and outright export, transshipment take place. In ICDs, containers are aggregated for onward movement to or from the port.
A regulatory authority of a committee under Ministry of Commerce, considers the proposals submitted by Public sector and Private sector entrepreneurs for the setting-up of ICDs in the country and monitor their compliance and progress. As of now, there are 11 ICDs operational in Tamil Nadu.