The third International Maritime Expo (INMEX) will start in Mumbai from October 8 and
last for four days until October 11. The expo will be represented by over 25 countries
including Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Germany, USA, UK, Sweden and Denmark.
Apart from international maritime exhibition with interactive sessions the event will also feature INMEX conference and Forum that will provide a platform for interaction on critical issues facing the maritime industry. The subject of sessions will include emerging opportunities in the areas of shipping, shipbuilding and ports and harbours in India.
Concor is integrating itself in both directions to complement its position as a multi-model logistics service provider. The move is a part of its overall expansion plans and would include moving into operating large railway goods-shed hubs, explore coastal shipping and provide complete cold chain solutions across the country. This may be initiated with setting up of district parks, freight centers and development centers at some terminals.
With the fate of SCI’s disinvestments hinging on the decision of Cabinet Committee of
Disinvestment (CCD), the meeting of board of directors of SCI scheduled on 3rd of October
assumes greater significance.
This meeting is likely to recommend a bumper dividend ahead of the disinvestment and the main beneficiary of the dividend will be the Government itself as it holds about 80% of the equity stake in SCI. This decision will be taken on the advice of inter-ministerial group that felt the need of Government making some profit out of SCI before its privatization.
Shipping companies have been able to turn the corner and give good returns to its stakeholders
in the recent years. The Indian shipping industry has been adding on an average about
Rs.2,211 per unit of gross registered tonnage (GRT) to the economy since 1990.
The only point of concern remaining is that the tonnage under Indian flag has stagnated over the past few years at around 7 million GRT. However this year the Indian fleet has showed some promise with SCI and GE Shipping acquiring 3 and 2 tankers respectively. Apart from this Mercator Lines and India Steamship Company also acquired 1 tanker each.
Relaxation of US crew visa norms has once again lightened the hope of many crew-supplying countries that had been facing major difficulties in availing individual visas for its seamen. It should be noted that the group visas scheme had been discontinued in the wake of terrorist attacks in the US. The major countries benefiting from this include India and the Philippines. This decision was taken after much lobbying done by the foreign ship owners including BIMCO and Intertanko. The validity period of visas from now on be at the discretion of the issuing officer and be based on reciprocal agreements between applicant’s country and the US.
Indian Railways is on a lookout for private consultants for Rs. 15,000 crore Golden
Quadrilateral and Port Connectivity project that is being executed by Rail Vikas
Nigam Ltd. (RVNL). According to the Railway Board Chairman these all projects would
be executed on a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) or Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) basis.
The job of the consultant would include revalidation of the feasibility reports prepared in-house by Railways-owned consultancy, Rites Ltd. Bids are being invited from leading consultants and the funding part is being taken care of by Asian Development Bank’s commitment of Rs.1,500 crore and another Rs.6,500 crore in the offing from World Bank.
In terms of DWT over 31.7% of the Indian fleet is over 20 years old and another 29.3% is
between 15 – 19 years. This has happened due to lack of any fresh addition in tonnage
over the years. The major cause of low addition is the high level of taxation in India
as opposed to other countries fleets’ that enjoy a low tax regime. The Tenth plan period
(2002 – 2007) should see an acquisition of about 156 ships of 3.25 GRT in order to stabilize
the fleet strength of Indian shipping industry, according to Planning Commission’s
Another cause of worry in India is low growth of container services. The world average stands at 70 – 80 % while India’s figures compare poorly at 50% only.
Vizag port has handled 231.44 lakh tonnes of cargoes from April to September this year to retain the top spot in cargo handling. The corresponding figure for the last year was 228.21 lakh tones.
To showcase its achievements, DCI is holding a technical seminar on October 7 in Mumbai.
The seminar will also delve into DCI’s possibilities of taking up ventures abroad.
The seminar is being organized after Ministry of Transport and Public Works of Government
of Belgium has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union Ministry of Shipping.
It is noteworthy that even after opening up of private sector, DCI has managed to hold on to 87% share in maintenance Dredging. As of now there is no foreign participation in this industry. This has been facilitated due to addition of two more dredgers at a total cost of Rs.230 crores.
With Government wanting to dilute 20% of its stake in DCI, an IPO for the same is in the offing, according to Industry sources. The same sources also revealed that another round of VRS may be coming this year in the corporation.
The construction of Sagar Island, KoPT’s (Kolkata Port Trust) first virtual jetty is
expected to be completed by April next year. This would facilitate lighterage traffic
movement between Sagar and Haldia / Kolkata.
KoPT has also proposed for development of various facilities with help from Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Central Inland Water Transport Corporation (CIWTC). These facilities would broadly include more riverside jetties and landing stages.
Asiatic Shipping Services Inc., a Malaysian company, has bagged export orders of tea amounting to 5000 – 7000 tonnes from Iraq. This consignment will be sent via UAE and will mark the resumption of tea shipment operations from South India to Iraq. In South India the general agents for this service will be Lucky Valley Shipping Services that is a division of Matheson Keells Enterprises Pvt. Ltd.