Shreyas Shipping taken to ‘Z’ category by BSE

Shreyas Shipping has been taken to the ‘Z’ category from its earlier ‘B-2’ status. Shreyas Shipping has reacted by filing a petition on the grounds that Sheyas was not given adequate notice and the transfer of category means a threat to its reputation and goodwill. The BSE has maintained that the transfer was undertaken after due surveillance. Shreyas Shipping, is a part of the Transworld Group, and posted a net profit of Rs 1.73 crore for the six-month period ended September 30, 2003.

Shipping line bidders face more opposition at JNPT

Just before the bidding for the container terminal expires at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) on November 30, 2003 the bidders are putting up a stiff resistance against allowing shipping lines bidders like Maersk, NYK and others. The principle driver of their opposition is the fact that it would not provide a level playing ground for other shipping lines as they would favour their own cargos and also have access to trade information of competiting shipping lines using the terminal. Another issue is that of transfer pricing which might help the shipping line bidders to quote a higher revenue share to the port but will mean that the port is losing substantial revenue.

Govt. clarifies its stand on JNPT bid

To remove fears of monopoly at the JNPT terminal on which shipping line bidders are in contention, the government has come up with the argument that it has the right to terminate the contract of the operators if they indulge in restrictive trade practices. The officials also pointed out that worldwide where such an arrangement exists such problems have not arisen. Besides, Maersk currently operates only 3 lakh TEUs whereas JNPT handles 20 lakh TEUs and in case they go below the minimum guaranteed through (MGT) they will be required to pay penalties.

Vivada to diversify into tourism

Mr. M.V.Nath, chairman of Vivada, has indicated that they would now diversify into marine tourism encompassing Sunderbans and would also launch a restaurant amongst other water recreations. Vivada Inland Waterways Ltd has been a river transport company engaged in carrying petroleum petroleum products at Hooghly.

Bidding for terminal at Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) attracts bidders

EPL has received 8 bidders for its build-operate-transfer terminal. Working on the projection that container traffic is likely to grow drastically in India in the wake of globalization they had decided to put up a terminal for which the road/rail links and related infrastructure will be taken care of by EPL. Its consultants for the techno-feasibility reports will now work out the details.

Tariff Authority for Major Ports(TAMP) allows withdrawal of volume discount

TAMP has held that the Cochin Port Trust (COPT) is free to withdraw the discount incentive with retrospective effect from April 1,2003. TAMP held that it has made ceilings on the charges that the port can charge and within those limits it is upto the port to withdarw/ allow incentive schemes. The statement from them has come from the objections raised by the users who have pleaded the scheme withdrawal is not viable.

Sea King ahead of the others in the Navi Mumbai Special Economic Zone(SEZ) race

Sea King and its partners, Videocon, Hiranandani and Avinash Bhosale, is ahead of its nearest rival, the Anik-consortium, by 75 crores. The CIDCO is likely to grant them the contract on December 31, 2003. Also, Sea King is likely to club it the Maha Mumbai SEZ on which they are currently working at the coast of Raigad. Their bid is of Rs 67.77 lakh per hectare on an area of 4,377 hectares. Sea King projects a debt-equity ratio of 2:1 and partner with various funding institutions.

VLCCs finding buyers in the wake of SPM

Very large crude carriers (VLCC) are being aggressively bought as single point moorings(SPM) are being set across the country. More economical and having more capacity than the Aframax it was so far difficult to use as their were draft restrictions. With SPMs being set up at Kochi, Chennai and Paradip VLCCs were now being bought by companies like GE Shiping and Essar Shipping.

Sales tax department creates a furor in the shipping industry

The sales tax department of Maharashtra has asked the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) to provide them with charter hire information. It has said that any contract of affreightment is subject to sales tax and if the department goes ahead with it the SCI would have to cough up around Rs 100 crore. Also, if the charges are levied on the other shipping companies it would similarly dampen their spirits after being pampered with favourable freight rates. If sales taxes are factored in, the shipping companies may have difficulty in quoting competitive prices for their services.

Move against ‘flag of convenience’ (FOC) vessels

The National Union of Seafarers and its affiliate organizations are like to start a campaign against the preferential treatment granted to ‘Flag of convenience’ vessels. The seafarers have argued that some countries, in order to mop up foreign exchange, give tax relief to their ships through various means and so they FOCs are able to get an edge over Indian ships. Ships of Indian origin have to pay an income-tax of 22% which is waived for FOCs who run on similar routes. This is also hurting employment potential of Indian seafarers as they work on higher costs than the rival FOCs. Also, there are reports of industrialized fishing vessels that work under the garb of ‘flag of convenience’ so that they can take advantage of the inability of the registering country to check their activities on sea where they are free to fish at high sea against international regulations.

Amingaon, Assam, starts off with imports

The inland container depot of Container Corporation of India (Concor) at Amingaon imported a rake of 39 TEUs in October, two in November and the speculation is that the number is expected to rise subsequently. It is being felt that this could lead to a continued cycle and the import containers would start matching the flow of export containers. One of the importers is said to be MMTC, a public sector firm.

Shippers’ concern for JNPT’s 3rd terminal

Shippers are concerned that if a shipping line wins the bid for the 3rd terminal at JNPT, it would use the terminal for handling its own cargo. The RFP document permits shipping lines to bid for the project, without an appropriate clause to prevent monopoly by the shipping lines.

Regulations to improve quality of maritime institutes

In order to improve the quality of training at maritime institutes, the DG Shipping has introduced new regulations such as compulsory residential schools, use of simulation techniques and laboratories. At present, India is the only country, which conducts courses for revalidation after every five years for nautical engineers. Maritime Training Institutes will be rated, which would help the students to judge the institutes before joining the course. India has recently started polyvalent courses, which will position the seafarer as both a deck officer and an engineer. This course is recognized by Mumbai University.

Attracting the fairer sex

In order to attract women seafarers DGS had first announced a 10% and 50% reduction in fees in the government run maritime institutes. But the incentives saw few takers.

Gateway Distriparks expanding capacity

Gateway Distriparks, an Indo-Singaporean joint venture logistics facility, which runs a modern container freight station at Dronagiri, is expanding its handling capacity by 36,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units to 150,000 TEUs.

Logistics hub near Dahanu

A co-ordination committee under the chairmanship of Ravi Buddhiraja, JNPT chairman, has been set up to explore the possibility of developing JNPT at Uran, Mumbai Port Trust and the proposed Wadhavan port, near Dahanu, as logistics hubs to boost the country’s trade and economy.

JNPT’s 4th Terminal

JNPT is planning a fourth container terminal with a capacity of 3 million TEUs, with six berths.

Global charter rates for VLCCs scaling new highs

The global charter rates of very large crude carriers shot up over the past month from a level of around $35,000 per day to $120,000 per day.




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