Ever wondered how your Amazon order gets swiftly delivered from different parts of the country to your doorstep? The answer partly lies in Amazon’s effective utilisation of its fulfilment, logistics and transportation network across all available modes of transport—road, rail and air.

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Now Amazon India is adding a new mode of transport to its supply chain: navigable inland waterways of potentially 14,500 km, comprising of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. Amazon India has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, to facilitate the movement of containerised cargo. The aim is to establish a network for cargo shipment on inland waterways. A pilot will soon be initiated on the water route between Patna and Kolkata with the support of IWAI and its carriers.

MoU Inland Water Authority of India

Inland water transport: sustainable and economic

“This MoU with Amazon India marks a significant step towards harnessing the potential of India’s inland water transport. Our focus is on increasing cargo movement through river systems, which is a more sustainable and economical mode of transport,” says Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India.

The IWAI-Amazon partnership also aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to increase utilisation of inland waterways as an economical and sustainable mode of transportation.

I congratulate Amazon India in their endeavour to collaborate with IWAI to create a waterways transportation solution. This initiative is a reflection of the importance of sustainable logistics solutions in India’s rapidly expanding e-commerce sector.
Sarbananda Sonowal
Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India

Unlocking the potential of inland waterways

This partnership reinforces Amazon India’s commitment to continue building capacity for meeting the increasing customer demand and collaborating with government authorities to explore mutually beneficial projects in e-commerce. In the last few years, Amazon took several steps to build its fulfilment, transportation, and logistics infrastructure in India. In January, Amazon launched Amazon Air in India, making it the first e-commerce company in the country to have a dedicated air cargo network.

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“This MoU between Amazon India and IWAI is poised to develop a transformative offering that will open up new possibilities for all e-commerce companies to leverage the country’s extensive inland waterways,” says Abhinav Singh, Vice President, Operations, Amazon India. “We remain committed to our global mission to transform the future of logistics and seek to harness the potential of the country's rivers, canals, and other water bodies to enhance logistics and transportation efficiency for the Indian e-commerce industry at large,” Singh says.

The IWAI-Amazon India collaboration is set to drive innovation, sustainability, and efficiency in cargo transportation, contributing to India's economic growth and development. With the advent of inland waterways operation, Amazon will be able to utilise all possible modes of transport in the country to ensure faster and cost-effective delivery of customer packages and provide a wider reach to its millions of sellers.