Week ending November 17, 2002


News on Shipping

SCI to open office in Shanghai Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has opened a representative business in Shanghai in a bid to boost its Far-Eastern business. SCI recently launched JNPT-Far-East service with two calls at Shanghai port in June 2001 and Chennai-Hong Kong service, with calls at the Chinese ports of Dalian, Quintao, Xiangang and Yantai in June 2002. Both these services are reportedly doing well, which has prompted SCI to look into prospects of further developing its business in the region.

News on Ports

Kolkata to take cue from Mumbai port for operating stevedore services After Mumbai Port has abolished private stevedoring services, Kolkata port is planning to follow suit, if the port users make a demand. Mr. A.K.Chanda, chairman of Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT), speaking at an interactive meeting with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), has said that the Shipping ministry was also in favor of dispensing with private stevedoring services to bring down the costs. Mumbai port is launching its own stevedoring services from November 1. Private stevedore service providers in ports like Mumbai and Kolkata have been hiring manpower from Dock Labour Boards (DLBs) and machinery from other agencies, earning their margins from both sides. Ports could substantially increase their earnings and bring down the cost for port users, if they operate the stevedore services themselves.

Kerala government seeks revival of Alapuzha port The Kerala government is planning to revive the centuries-old Alapuzha port, in a bid to exploit the tourist potential of the location. Ramboll, Denmark has prepared an inception report for development of the port in association with L&T. The report has recommended taking up activities like recreation, water sports and coastal shipping, besides developing other port facilities. Alapuzha has potential for tourism-related activities and has prospects for lighterage operations.

Plan to establish port-based mega chemical estates The government has reportedly once again revived the proposal to establish mega chemical industrial estates (MCIE) near ports. Several State governments, besides the Planning Commission, have backed the move, which had earlier failed to enthuse industry.. The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertlisers originally mooted the concept in 2000 and each MCIE was expected to involve investment of about $ 2 billion. The ministry had also undertaken a pre-feasibility study by a global consultant. The plan was to provide common infrastructure to chemical units to be located in the estates, including effluent processing facilities, power, roads, piped industrial gases, telecommunications, chemical storage terminals etc. As per the proposal, MCIE units may also be given other incentives like tax concessions.

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News on Shipyards

EU accuses South Korea of unfair trade practices in shipbuilding The European Union has formally charged South Korean shipbuilders for selling ships at a loss in a bid to push their European competitors out of the market. The EU planning to take South Korea to the World Trade Organisation over the alleged subsidies to shipyards. South Korea has contested EU allegations. The EU has said that in the first half of this year, South Korean shipyards have sold ships at a loss in an attempt to boost their share of the declining market. The EU has alleged that Soth Korean yards have priced ships at an average 18 per cent below the cost of production, with peaks of 39 per cent.

News on Logistics

Kolkata to host AILM annual meet Kolkata will host the third annual convention of the Asian Institute of Logistics Management, which will be held on January 17-18, 2003. The theme of this year's convention is: Logistics Management - Capability, Constraints and Compatibility.

Shortage of rail wagons hits wheat exports Wheat exports out of the country have been seriously affected due to non-availability of rail wagons for transporting the foodgrain to the ports. Consequently, exporters have been forced to bear heavy demurrage charges for the delayed cargo up to $5,000 a day, for the vessels awaiting cargo at ports. Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) has urged the Food Ministry to take up the matter with Food Corporation of India (FCI), which has failed to prioritize the export consignment for allocation of rail wagons.

Railways sign pact with Adanis for Mundra port The Railways and Adani group have signed an agreement for operation and revenue sharing of the 57 km rail line from Adipur to Mundra, which has been constructed by Gujarat Adani Port Limited (GAPL) at a cost of Rs.160 crore. The agreement envisages a new model of a railway link, wherein the Mundra port would own land, tracks and other civil structures and maintain them as per the standards laid by the railways. The railways on their part, would operate the link by providing locomotives, wagons and technical staff. GAPL has also taken the initiative to further develop connectivity between Gujarat and Northern region by undertaking to fund the conversion of 300 km meter gauge Gandhidham-Palanpur rail link to broad gauge.

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