Nepal is a land-locked country and relies on the Port of Kolkata in India for handling practically all its sea freight imports, where the Government of Nepal also owns a Container Freight Station (CFS) at the Kolkata Dry Port which has the capacity to store 500 containers.
Nepal has multiple dry ports, of which the Birgunj Dry Port is the largest in terms of annual volume of cargo and income from customs duties and taxes.
The Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board (NITDB) is the public private partnership (PPP) entity that develops, manages and promotes Inland Clearance Depots (ICD’s*) for the facilitation of Nepal’s exports and imports. Currently, there are four dry ports in operation: Birgunj ICD at Sirsiya, Bhairahawa ICD, Biratnagar ICD and Kakarvitta ICD. These ICD’s have only road-based links except Birgunj ICD which, in addition to road, is rail linked with the Port of Kolkata via Raxaul.
Nepal in collaboration with Government of India has plan to operate four Integrated Check Posts (ICPs**). The Birgunj ICP and Biratnagar ICP have started their operations whereas construction work for Bhairahawa ICP and Nepalgunj ICP are in pipeline.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports is aimed at promoting and developing dry ports of international importance as one of the means to establish an international integrated intermodal transport and logistics system within Asia as well as between Asia and its neighbouring regions. “Dry ports of International importance” as the registered dry ports are recognized as are
Bhairahawa ICD, Biratnagar ICD, Birgunj ICD, Kakarbhitta ICD and Tatopani ICD. Tatopani ICD and Rasuwagadhi custom office are Nepal’s two main custom points with China.
For more details on ICD's, please see the following link: Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports.
(Source: Intergovernmental Agreement on Dry Ports website)
For information on planned dry ports at Timure - Rasuwagadhi and Chovar- Kathmandu, please see the following attachments:
Dry Port Timure - Rasuwagadhiure - Rasuwagadhi
Dry Port Chovar - Kathmandu
The following sections contain information on Kolkata Port and multiple dry ports in Nepal:
2.1.1 Kolkata Port
2.1.2 Nepal Birgunj Dry Port
2.1.3 Nepal Nepalgunj Dry Port
2.1.4 Nepal Bhairahawa Dry Port
2.1.5 Nepal Biratnagar Dry Port
2.1.6 Nepal Kakarbhitta Dry Port
*An ICP (Integrated check point): is a multipurpose customs check point, operating on both sides of the border, to facilitate cross-border trade and movement of people.
**An ICD (Inland Clearance Depot): is a dry-port, purposely build to handle import, export, intermodal transfer, temporary storage and customs clearance of goods, with storage capacity, terminal buildings and logistics handling equipment. It is combination transport terminal and customs clearance point at an inland facility. Most ICD’s in Nepal are operated on the border, next to an ICP (Birgunj, Bhairahawa), but it can also be located some distance away from the border customs check point or ICP (as in Biratnagar, Kathmanu).