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Cochin Port eyes relaxation of cabotage law

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 24, 2018

Big plans: The Cochin Port Trust intends to raise the coastal cargo throughput to 10 lakh tonnes (file photo)

Holds talks with Cochin Steamer Agents Association and terminal operator DP World

 

The Cochin Port Trust is betting big on cabotage law relaxation to enhance container trans-shipment volumes through Vallarpadam Terminal as well as coastal cargo business.

At present, the trans-shipment volume at ICTT stands at 6 per cent out of the over five lakh TEUs container cargo and this is expected to go up 12 per cent in the current fiscal with the easing of the cabotage law restrictions, said AV Ramana, Chairman of the port.

To cash in on the emerging situation, the port has held two rounds of discussions with the Cochin Steamer Agents Association and the terminal operator DP World on how to make use of the cabotage relaxation effectively to increase the trans-shipment cargoes and coastal shipping movement.

“The Prime Minister’s dream to make a trans-shipment hub in India itself will soon be a reality with all these initiatives,” he said, while addressing the 40th annual general meeting of the Cochin Steamer Agents Association.

New liner service

Later, on the sidelines of the function, he told BusinessLine that the port is looking at a new liner service to the US that would help the exim trade, and in turn, increase the trans-shipment at Kochi.

Empty container movement from the East Coast to the West Coast has also started rising as per the requirement of the trade with the starting of the NEMO and GCX service.

The port intends to raise the coastal cargo throughput this year to 10 lakh tonnes from 8.37 lt in the previous year.

It has inked a deal for the movement of foodgrains by containers from Kandla. By adding steel to the coastal list along with agricultural products, he said Indian ports are anticipating a definite surge in coastal volumes.

The Indian sub-continent with huge area and population has tremendous scope for value unlocking/reduction of transport cost by shifting to coastal shipping, which needs better planning in terms of end-to-end cargo movement and assurance by public private entities to the trade to this effect, he added.

HIgh lighthouse charges

Speaking on the occasion, Prakash Iyer, President of Cochin Steamer Agents Association, requested the authorities to withdraw exorbitant charges levied under the head of India Light House dues, saying that none of the ships are utilising the facilities of light houses in India or abroad due to available advance technologies to find out locations correctly.

This, he said, adds on to the cost of ship operations in India, in addition to regular port-related charges.

Published on June 24, 2018

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