Maldives State Shipping (MSS) has announced plans to establish shipping routes to Kulhudhuffushi City and Addu City within the next two to three months.
MSS began procuring a new ship to establish routes to Kulhudhuffushi and Addu in March 2023. According to the company, the new ship will be small enough to easily navigate in the region.
The routes will allow businesses in the cities to book transport from any part of the globe. MSS stated that businesses can request to bring in goods from any country as MSS can handle shipments via a freight forwarding from countries that do not have MSS containers. The state-owned company regularly transports goods from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Kuwait, Indonesia, and China and handles 50-60% of the shipments between Male’ and Colombo in Sri Lanka.
The company had established a shipping route between Addu City and Tuticorin in India earlier in 2020, which ended in March 2021 due to the lack of demand. The ship had a 4,000-tonne capacity but was transporting only 300 tonnes of goods for businesses in Addu, while the rest of the cargo space was used to carry goods for State Trading Organisation (STO) and material for companies carrying out various projects in Addu. Demand plummeted further after the completion of the projects.
However, MSS informed that the company has decided a feasible business model for the project and expects to continue the shipping operation sustainably.