Servicing the foreigners

Top French Navy officials conducted an audit of the ship repair facilities at the shipyard. UK and US naval officials are also expected as the proximity to the Middle East and the reasonable rates of repair makes it attractive for them to approach Cochin Shipyards to repair their vessels.

Draft at Arabian Sea for Shell

The dredging will help not only the Rs 3000 crore regassified LNG terminals, but also a Rs 1000 crore multi-cargo port near the LNG terminal.

Shipping Corporation of India swims through loopholes for expanding its fleet

During the 10th plan, the Govt. has approved Rs 5800 crore expansion plan for SCI, which also includes acquisitions by its joint ventures.

Phasing-out of single hull carriers

It was also decided to ban single-hull tankers from carrying heavy oil grades as of April 2005. The new measures will include a provision for countries to refuse right of entry to those tankers escaping the 2010 deadline.

China’s new fancy

Starting at $0.5 mn. and moving to as high as $200 mn.-$300 mn., are the prices that the newly-rich Chinese are willing to pay for luxury yatchs. In fact the craze is so high that increasing amount of space is being cleared to develop marinas, which can fit maximum possible number of yatchs.

Indians high on High Seas

The $13 mn.-$15 mn. Indian cruise market is growing @ 20%-25%. It is not just the sight-seeing and holidaying, but the cruise operators are wooing Indians through Jain meals, honeymoon packages and even a wedding aboard a ship. They are cashing in on the class with high disposable incomes, opting for early retirement.

Kerala Ports Department wants to be busy, but faces disinterest

The Rs 300 crore marina project at Alappuzha port is left in cold as the only company which responded to the EOI invited by the Dept. withdrew. The Rs 1,750 crore Azhikkal port, on the other hand, saw 2 of its 4 suitors opting out. An invitation to EOI is expected to be floated for a major international container trans-shipment at Vizhinjam port.

Ocean freights rise

Ocean freight rates have increased sharply in 2003. But the existing time charters have prevented most shipping companies from taking advantage of this rise in the spot rates. Exporters are saved from this rise as most exports are on FOB basis. Where CIF basis is opted for, time charters saved the exported/importers’ day.

GE Shipping on a shopping spree

Within a month of acquiring a second-hand Aframax tanker for $12 mn.-$13 mn., GE Shipping is now acquiring a 152,485 dwt Suezmax crude carrier for an estimated $17mn.-$18 mn. Since 1 Apr. 2003, the company acquired 10 tankers – 8 crude and 2 product tankers. Additions to its family would be 10 new vessels stretching over the period Jan 2004 – Sept 2005.

Cargo clearance at customs speeds up.

The net-enabled filing of export/import documents has greatly eased the procedure, by bringing about transparency, and also bringing down the number of illegal operations. The exporters/importers, on account of this, should be able to complete their customs formalities in a single visit, when they come to pay the duty and present their goods for physical examination.

HongKong’s main port sees a fall in container traffic

The container traffic at Kwai Chung port dropped 1.9% in Nov., though for the 11 months during the year, it saw a rise of 1.9% over the same period during the previous year. This port sees heavy competition from Shezhen port in China, which is closer and cheaper for exports from the major manufacturing base of the world, Pearl River Delta.

Charter hire charges paid to foreign shipping lines are taxable

CBDT has ruled that the charter hire charges paid by domestic ship-owners to foreign shipping lines while hiring their ships to meet domestic obligations will be subject to withholding tax in India. The shipping ministry contends that ships cannot be treated as an “industrial, commercial or scientific equipment” as mentioned in the relevant sections of the I.T Act for the purpose of charging such a tax.

Cochin Shipyard wins a second export order

Cochin Shipyard Ltd. bagged the order for construction of nine fire fighting tugs for the Jeddah Port, Saudi Arabia amidst tough competition from yards of Singapore, China and other countries. Attractive price and delivery schedule were the clinchers. Prior to this order, CSL could stick to its delivery schedule for an ocean going launch platform for NPSS, Abu Dhabi.

Nhava-Sheva International container Terminal seeks to clear its conjestion

The terminal operator P&O Ports India has requested the Shipping Ministry for more rakes supply by Concor to ease the conjestion. The pendency of consignments at the terminal has increased from 3,257 TEUs as of Oct 1, to 4,706 TEUs on Nov 1. Even the 195 trains deployed by Concor since Nov 19, are not enough to take care of the surge in imports.

Sagar Mala project scoffed by port officials

The Sagar Mala project proposes to build 50 new non-major ports with a distance of not more than 75 kms. between each. This is seen as only adding to the already existing defunct ports. Out of the 184 non-major ports, only 50 are functional and handling any traffic.

Major ports kept busy

Vishakhapatnam port handled the highest freight traffic of about 27.1 mt cargo in Apr-Oct 2003, Kandla coming in second at 23.4 mt. Kolkatta Dock System and Cochin Port, on the other hand, saw a drop with 2.82 mt and 7.8 mt respectively.

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