`We are focusing on services to China, US East Coast, Europe'
Besides Chennai,Kochi is the only port in South India to have the facilities to accommodate mainline vessel because of higher draft.
The vesseloperators prefer Kochi because of its locational advantage to West Asia and Suez.
Kochi, Dec. 5
The efforts taken by DP World, the container terminal operator in Kochi port, in attracting mainline vessels, has started showing results with the arrival of second mainline vessel to the port in less than a week.
The vessel, T.S. Dubai of T.S. Line of Taiwan, had berthed in the terminal on Tuesday for a 6-hour stop over. The rotation of the vessel will be Xingang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Kelang, Colombo, Kochi, Jawaharlal Nehru port, Jebel Ali, Damam etc.
"We are always focusing on services to China, the US East Coast and Europe and marketing the liners worldwide to include Kochi in its port of call," a senior official with the DP World said.
Advanced discussions are on with various lines for connecting Kochi directly with the US East Coast and Europe.
He pointed out that many of the mainline vessels are showing keen interest in using Kochi as their preferred port of call in South India, especially with the streamlining of operations and reduction in vessel-related costs.
Kochi will now be the ideal gateway for the South Indian markets such as Bangalore, Tirupur and Coimbatore with the increase in import of electronic goods, computer spares, fabric tiles etc, from China.
Exporters from these locations will also have the benefit of fixed day direct weekly service to Jebel Ali, Damam and to the North China ports with excellent transit times, he added.
The mainline vessel T.S. Dubai, which arrived here today, is having the capacity to carry over 3,000 TEUs with a draft requirement of 12.5 metres.
Kochi is the only port in South India besides Chennai to have the facilities to accommodate the vessel because of higher draft. Added to that, the vessel operators prefer Kochi because of its locational advantage to West Asia and Suez.
The possibility of using Kochi as a transhipment hub to connect containers to this service from other ports in India is also being worked out by the member lines, the official said.
Moreover, there is also an opportunity of getting more vessels to Kochi port on account of the decision of the authorities to hike the terminal charges at the Colombo port from January next year, the official said.