Vallarpadam terminal sets 4 lakh TEUs container handling record

International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam for the first time since its inception has handled more than 4 lakh TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) in a single financial year

 Sisir Pradhan | The Dollar Business

International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam for the first time since its inception has handled more than 4 lakh TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) in a single financial year. The terminal which was developed with a vision to boost India’s container transhipment and check rising outflow of transhipment containers to Colombo, has been in troubled waters for various reasons since its commissioning in 2011. A special purpose vehicle, India Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd. was formed in 2004 to develop the terminal with Dubai-headquartered DP World having a majority equity holding of 81.63%. Despite having a dedicated road and rail connectivity and a terminal with 14.5 metre draft and capability to handle post panamax vessels, the terminal has operated at an average 40 percent usage of total container handling capacity. The terminal also has a location advantage of being close to East-West trade route, and about eleven nautical miles far from the direct Middle East - Far East sea-route. However, the terminal has perked up its services in the current financial year as a result it registered a steady growth in container shipment and set to achieve container throughput of 4.15 lakh TEUs in FY2015-16. The terminal has handled 400,238 TEUs between 1st April 2015 and 17th March 2016, and has registered a growth of 13.5% as compared to same period in the previous financial year. The terminal has attained an improvement in productivity in the fourth quarter of FY2016 and registered 31 crane moves per hour as compared to an average of 30 moves per hour during the same period in FY2015. The terminal has also leveraged its coastal shipment services following the Union government’s decision to relax cabotage rule to boost movement of cargo between Indian ports. The terminal has started two new services IWCS, which connects Mundra, Goa and Mangalore to Cochin and SAH Coastal service which connects Mundra and Pipavav to Cochin along with a feeder service to Kollam – Cexpress in the current year. It has also launched eight new services to increase connectivity to other trade hubs, which include the launch of GALEX service, that connects the Far East to Cochin for imports and Cochin to the Middle East for exports on the westbound call, and from the Middle East to Cochin and Cochin to the Far East on the eastbound call. The terminal operators have also launched three mainline line services per week connecting the Far East and South East Asian countries to Cochin, and one of them provides direct connectivity from Australia to Cochin. Moreover, four weekly services have also been launched during the financial year to connect to the Middle East, including PIX 2 (Pan India Express) that was renamed as ICTT from 2nd August 2015 and two direct services to Europe and the Mediterranean, and connectivity to the US East Coast through hubs in Damietta and Haifa. The terminal has also started four weekly scheduled departures to the Port of Colombo, providing connectivity through the regional hub of Colombo. It has launched additional connectivity to Mundra in August 2015 to tap coastal cargo on the West Coast Feeder service. Commenting on the growth of cargo at the terminal, Cochin Port Chairman Paul Antony said, “With this latest milestone added to our Cochin terminal, we are pleased to see that the port has successfully gained faith from the trading community of the country. We would also like to thank the shipping lines who have added our terminal to their existing routes and enabled us to connect to many different ports across the world.”  

March 26,  2016 | 12:30pm IST

The Dollar Business Bureau - Mar 26, 2016 12:00 IST