Krishnapatnam Port plans to become India’s largest container terminal by 2020

KPCT is aiming at a three-fold jump in container cargo handling to around 1.5 lakh TEU in FY2014-15

Sisir Pradhan | @TheDollarBiz   Krishnapatnam Port-TDB Krishnapatnam Port, on the eastern coast of India, plans to become the single largest container terminal in India by FY2020 with a total annual capacity of 6.0 million TEUs, up five-times from the current capacity of around 1.2 million TEUs per annum, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited CEO Anil Yendluri told The Dollar Business. According to the Ministry of Shipping, global container throughput will reach 1 billion TEUs by 2020 and India’s container traffic (excluding transshipment) is likely to grow between 18% and 23% in the next 4-5 years. The growth in container traffic exhibits a strong linkage to GDP growth and most developing container traffic at Indian ports has registered growth at a CAGR of 10.9%, from 106.4 million tonnes in FY2009 to 171.4 million tonnes in FY2014. Addressing a gathering of businesspersons from various sectors in Hyderabad last week, KPCT advisor Vinita Venkatesh said, “We have handled 58,577 TEU in FY2014. With our effective platforms that support terminal operations and transparent business processes, we have become the first terminal in the country to handle this cargo volume in the very first year of terminal operations.” He added that going by the growth rate, KPCT hopes to achieve a three-fold jump in container cargo handling to around 1.5 lakh TEU in FY2015, Yendluri said. The Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT) is expected to play an important role in boosting India’s exports under the government’s “Look East” policy. Yendluri said that earlier container traffic movement was more concentrated on the West Coast, and Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal) was the primary gateway port for the container cargo. Exim trade has grown in the western coast on India primarily because a large number of entrepreneurs are from Maharashtra and Gujarat region, and the traffic is west-bound as the U.S, Middle East and Europe are the primary trade destinations. However, under the “Look East” policy, the government is focusing on increasing trade between India and Southeast Asian countries. Hence, in coming years the traffic will increase at the ports on the East Coast. KPCT has upgraded its infrastructure and facilities to handle the current and future demand, Yendluri said. Notably, Krishnapatnam has been earmarked to be developed as a smart city and is expected to boost industrial and economic activities in the region. India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his first Budget on 10 July, 2014, has announced that a National Industrial Corridor Authority is being set-up with an amount of Rs. 100 crore to coordinate the development of industrial corridors with smart cities linked to transport connectivity. The Finance Minister said that the master planning of three new smart cities in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor region -- Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka -- will also be completed. “Given the immense opportunities on the East Coast of India and growing intra-Asia trade, we are laying strategies and working towards becoming the container terminal hub on the East Coast of India,” said Yendluri.