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i-maritime News service

Cargo traffic picks up at Ernakulam wharf - 2012-03-12


The efforts taken by Kochi Port to increase general cargo traffic at its deep draft berths seem to have started yielding results. For the first time since the shifting of the container terminal operations to Vallarpadam, three cargo ships have lined up at the deep draft berths of Ernakulam Wharf. The wharf is now fully occupied by vessels carrying bulk and break bulk cargo. The ships are MV Heron carrying 27,000 tonnes of shredded scrap, MV Santana carrying 18,000 tonnes of coal and MV Jindal Manjula carrying 2,775 tonnes of pipes. These vessels are berthed at Q5, Q8 and Q9 berths, respectively.

The port is expecting more ships carrying general cargo including industrial salt, sulphur, pipes later this month. The port is focussing on developing the wharf as a major bulk cargo consolidation centre of the South. The advantage is that the wharf has the proximity of channel of 12.5 metre draft and a railway line, senior port officials said.

The management has initiated several efforts to increase general cargo operations at the Ernakulam Wharf after the migration of container handling activities to Vallarpadam. The port has already invited bids for the mechanisation of Q8 and Q9 berths for handling dry bulk cargo and for Q5 berth for setting up bulk cement handling plant. To facilitate higher productivity and faster turnaround, the port is also procuring several cargo handling equipments. Recently, seven more stevedoring companies have registered with the port for cargo handling activities. Now, 12 stevedores are available at the port. Regular meetings are being held with the Vessel Agents, Stevedores and Labour Unions to ensure faster turnaround of the vessels.