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i-maritime Newsletter

Shipping lines keen to use Vallarpadam ICTT - 2011-11-07

Enquiries have started pouring in from leading mainline shipping operators in the sub-continent to use the Vallarpadam terminal as their transhipment hub to cater to the large transhipment requirement from various domestic ports on the east and west coast. The decision of the Kochi Port authorities to continue with the marine concessions to mainliners equivalent to Colombo Port for one more year and the modern facility at the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) with good hinterland connectivity by road and rail has inspired the vessel operators take a favourable decision in this regard. The leading mainline operators that had evinced interest to utilise the ICTT facility included Mediterranean Shipping Group, Mitsui OSK Lines, Maersk Lines etc. However, the existing restrictions for foreign vessels to connect Indian ports with transhipment cargo are seen as a hindrance by vessel operators to use the potential in Kochi Port. Highly placed sources in the port said these vessel operators could not take a sudden decision to shift its base from Colombo to Kochi on account of the Cabotage restrictions in Indian ports. If the law is relaxed, they may slowly skip Colombo and will opt Kochi for transhipment purpose, the sources said adding, at present 70% of the Indian cargo is transhipped through Colombo port.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News