Week ending February 04, 2003


News on Shipping

Chennai port to offer 20 per cent rebate to mainline vessels: The Chennai Port Trust (CPT) will offer a 20 per cent rebate in the vessel-related charges for mainline vessels calling at the port, in a planned move to attract mainline vessels to the port and convert Chennai into a hub port on the East coast. The proposal to reduce the vessel-related charges for mainline vessels calling at the port has been cleared by the board of trustees of the CPT at a meeting held on January 24. The proposal will now be submitted to the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) for sanction. Currently, the vessel-related charges are uniform for mainline vessels and feeder vessels operating out of the port. P&O Ports, which operates a container terminal at the port, is mandated to bring in mainline vessels within three years of commencing operations. It had earlier sought the assistance of the port trust to make the vessel-related charges attractive for mainline vessels.

LOTS Shipping to buy three barges: LOTS Shipping Ltd, a leading inland water transport operator in Kerala, has concluded a deal to acquire all the three barges of the South India Corporation Ltd. presently operating in the National Waterways No: 3 in the State. An agreement to this effect was signed on January 13 and LOTS had commenced operations of transporting sulphur and rock phosphate with these barges from February 1. With the acquisition of these barges, LOTS has become the largest barge operator in Kerala inland waters with five dry cargo barges and a total carrying capacity of 2,200 tonnes. LOTS launched its first modern dry cargo vessel Meenachil in August 2001 with a carrying capacity of 550 tonnes and have grown rapidly in a short span. The company is also planning to add to its fleet a few tanker barges of 300-tonne capacity and acid barges. Kochi, a premier and major port city in the country connects to a large number of inland destinations by Waterways. The company is also actively pursuing new projects such as building of terminals, night navigation facilities etc along the NW-3 in association with the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI).

Nalco enters into box contract with Seaways: National Aluminum Company Limited (Nalco), the public sector aluminum company has renewed its shipping agency contract with Seaways Shipping for handling its container traffic, mostly exports, through the Paradip port. Seaways Shipping was selected through a competitive bidding process. Nalco has been using the port for past one year for routing its exports to the Southeast Asian destinations. Last fiscal year for only two months; the throughput was just 300 TEUs, which in the current fiscal is expected to be about 2,000 TEUs. The company's containerised export through Paradip was expected to rise substantially to more than 3,000 TEUs in 2003-04. This should be possible because of the estimated rise in metal production by more than a lakh tonnes to nearly 3.45 lakh following Nalco's capacity expansion which is nearly complete.

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News on Ports

Cochin port to implement Loading Act: The Kerala Loading and Unloading (Regulation of Wages and Restriction of Unlawful Practices) Act 2002, which is implemented all over the State is now planned to be introduced in the otherwise Centrally-administered Cochin port, in a bid to check unlawful practices within the jurisdiction of port premises. The board of trustees of the port, which met recently has discussed the issue in detail and entrusted the port chairman to prepare a report after a careful study of the matter. The issue has come up at a time when the port is planning several developmental projects, including the proposed Vallarpadam container terminal project, the LNG terminal and the ship repair facilities in the geographical boundaries of the port. Ostensibly, the move is aimed at bringing the proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) units under the purview of the State labour law, but might send wrong signals to the potential investors in the upcoming Vallarpadam container terminal and other projects as well.

Kochi port records all-time high in dry bulk handling: The Cochin port has set an all-time record in dry bulk handling in a single day handling 11,480 tonnes of coal on January 19. The merchant vessel Gang Quiang carrying 41,385 tonnes of coal arrived from China at the port on January 18. The previous best performance record was 9,375 tonnes of ileminite sand loaded on to the vessel, Spring Wave, in a single day in September 2002. Of late the port has been able to attract more and more large size dry bulk vessel in the recent days. The vessel, Jovial Duckling, carrying 44,600 tonnes of rock phosphate is by far the largest dry bulk carrier to have berthed at the port. The length overall of the vessel is 236.02 metres, which is presently discharging at the port.

Chennai box terminal handling up by 17 pc: Chennai Container Terminal Private Limited (CCTL) has registered 17 per cent growth in container traffic during January-December 2002 over the same period in the previous year. The terminal has handled 3.94 lakh TEUs in 2002. CCTL has guaranteed a minimum guaranteed traffic of 3.50 lakh TEUs in the first year. In the second year, the throughput will be worked out on a proportionate basis at the rate of 4 lakh TEUs. CCTL started its operations in November 2001. The Tuticorin container terminal, operated by PSA Sical, and the Kochi port too has registered a growth of 7.7 per cent in container traffic during the 2002 over the previous year. CCTL has projected a target of 25 per cent growth at 5 lakh TEUs for 2003.

New chairman for JNPT: Mr. R.B. Budhiraja, formerly principal secretary in the energy department of the Government of Maharashtra has taken over as the chairman of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) from February 3. The post of chairman was vacant ever since Mr. A.L. Bongirwar, was appointed as the chairman of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP).

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News on Shipyards

CSL floats first export vessel: Cochin Shipyard Ltd floated its first export vessel constructed for National Petroleum Construction Company, Abu Dhabi. The successful and timely completion of the first export order worth $ 8.2 million has given a boost to the yard's reputation abroad and is expected to generate more orders of similar nature. The yard is seeking to aggressively tap the West Asian shipbuilding demand.

News on Logistics

Tirupur exporters to set up a Rotterdam warehouse: Tirupur Exporters' Association (TEA) project for establishing a warehousing facility in Rotterdam is expected to cost Rs 5.62 crore. The likely investment in the setting up of the warehouse is to be shared among the TEA, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and a logistics service provider, in the ratio 35:35:30. TEA is expected to invest Rs 1.97 crore in the equity of the company that would set up the warehouse.

Rake scarcity hits foodgrains exports: Non-allotment of adequate number of rail rakes for exporting foodgrains through Visakhapatnam and Kakinada ports has substantially brought down exports. Visakhapatnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cocanada Chamber of Commerce have jointly urged the government to address the problem by issuing necessary directives to the Railway authorities. As against the requirement of five rakes a day in Visakhapatnam, only two were being currently allotted, though Visakhapatnam has been nominated as one of the nodal ports for foodgrains export.

Concor and Maersk to jointly set up a CFS at Dadri: Container Corporation of India (Concor) and Maersk India Private Limited have entered into a joint venture agreement to set up a container freight station (CFS) at Concor's Dadri complex in Uttar Pradesh. Star Track Terminals Pvt Ltd, the proposed JV enterprise will develop the CFS at a cost of Rs 15 crore. Maersk India will hold a majority stake of 51 per cent in the joint venture, while the remaining equity will be with Concor. The CFS, expected to start operations by the end of 2003 will handle 40,000 TEUs. The CFS operations can be expanded to its full cater to a volume of 70,000 TEUs, if required. The CFS will handle all activities and operations such as export consolidation, stuffing and movement, import movement, storage, de-stuffing, warehousing, monitoring of reefers for exporters and importers, consolidators, custom agents and shipping lines.

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News on Inland Watereways

Advisory panel set up for IWT subsidy scheme: Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has set up advisory committees for considering the eligibility of vessels for the inland vessel building subsidy scheme and processing of applications received from the entrepreneurs. As per the procedure, claims for the release of subsidy have to be submitted to the IWAI within 90 days of delivery of the vessel. The subsidy would be 30 % of the ex-factory price of the inland vessel and would be available only for vessels acquired by an Indians from domestic shipyard. The scheme was introduced on April 1, 2002 and will be in force till March 31, 2007.

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