The SCI is the only Indian shipping company that operates Liner services. Liner Cargo services involve a huge number of shippers and correspondingly huge number of consignees; hence, the Liner division comes in direct contact with the trading fraternity and is the public face of the SCI.
By operating liner services from India to all the country's major trading partners, Liner services have become the back-bone of the Indian EXIM trade. The presence of SCI in Liner services has acted as a moderating factor on shipping rates, which would have been at the mercy of foreign shipping lines, but for the presence of the SCI. The role therefore played by the SCI Liner division is both commercial and social.
The Liner & Passenger Services (L & PS) division operates a network of global Liner services from India to the Far East-Japan, China, U.K-Continent, Mediterranean and Black Sea ports, with its container fleet of about 46,000 TEU's.
As the trend is towards containerized services, the SCI presently operates four Cellular Container Services covering the Far East (INDFEX), China (INDFEX 2), U. K.-Continent (ISES) and SCI Middle East India Liner Express Service (SMILE).
The SCI also caters to feeder cargo on west coast of India, Indian coastal cargo and coastal cargo through feeder services between Colombo/Tuticorin/Cochin/JNP/Mundra.
The SCI's Red Sea-India Express Service which was suspended from 15.09.2009, is under active consideration for recommencement.
In the Break-bulk sector, the SCI operates a joint service with Rickmers Linie, Germany, for shipment of break-bulk/general cargo from European ports to India.
Apart from the Liner services, the L & PS division also manages and operates passenger vessels and other specialised vessels belonging to Andaman & Nicobar Administration and other Govt. of India bodies such as the Department of Ocean Development and Geological Survey of India (Ministry of Steel & Mines).
Two SCI-owned passenger vessels are also operated in the Andaman & Nicobar sector by the L & PS division.
In essence, the L & PS division acts as the public face of the SCI and functions as the backbone of the India's EXIM trade. This division also operates passenger vessels between the mainland and the far flung islands of the country, acting as the only source of connection between the island's common man and the mainland.