Logistics

Khatau is BIMCO Chief

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on June 12, 2011 Published on June 12, 2011

Mr. Yudhishthir D. Khatau, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Varun Shipping Company Ltd .   -  Business Line

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At 43, he is the youngest president of BIMCO. He is also the first Indian to head this 106 year-old organisation.

Mr Yudhishthir Khatau, vice-chairman and managing director of the Mumbai-based Varun Shipping Company has been elected as President of the Baltic and International Maritime Council, popularly known as BIMCO. It is an independent global shipping association founded in 1905, with a membership composed of ship owners, managers, brokers, agents and many other stakeholders in the shipping industry. Mr Khatau succeeds German shipowner, Robert Lorenz-Meyer, who has completed his two-year time in office at BIMCO. Varun Shipping is the largest LPC tanker operator in the country. Of late, the company is increasing its exposure in the offshore sector.

Mr Khatau is also a prominent member of the Indian National Shipowners Association. He has been active in voicing the problems facing the Indian shipping industry. He thinks India is missing a great opportunity to become a major player in the global sea-trade. Domestic industry is subject to a tax regime which weakens its competitiveness in the international market.

DP World gets relief in tariff hike

If the recent outpourings by the country's leading container terminal operators, mostly foreign, are any indication, the tariff issue is proving to be the most intractable one. Last month, the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) sought to cut by 35 per cent the amount DP World could charge users of its facility in Chennai, the country's second busiest container port. This understandably evoked sharp reaction from the terminal operator who felt that the regulation on port operators' fees would deter the operators from investing. DP World which wanted 13.8 per cent tariff increase went to the court challenging TAMP's order and is believed to have obtained a temporary relief. TAMP bases its calculation on the unit cost of moving each container ostensibly to protect port customers from exploitation. However, such a system, it is pointed out, stifles growth. Another area of concern is the varying fees the port operators are required to pay to different government-controlled ports – some controlled by the Union Government, some by State governments and some others by unregulated private ports.

Air travel: Gulf beckons

The European nations and their national carriers are worried at the growing competition they are now facing from their counterparts in West Asia. Dubai has already emerged as the virtual global hub for international air travel in any direction with passengers using the routes that fly via Dubai in preference to London, Paris and Frankfurt. Doha (Qatar) too, is set to emerge as the second hub in the region. This is not surprising. After all, the governments in both the UAE and Qatar have invested heavily in the construction of modern airports with passenger-friendly amenities amid efforts by Emirates to grow its fleet to 90 aircraft and with Qatar Air awaiting delivery of 200 planes worth $35 billion. More important the carriers are also trying to tap the $68-billion air freight market by turning their bases into global cargo hubs. Reports have it that Emirates plans to add up to 18 cargo aircraft in Dubai, while Doha-based Qatar Air is converting 15 passenger jets into freighters and buying 33 per cent of Cargolux Airlines International, which is Europe's biggest freight-only carrier.

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Published on June 12, 2011
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