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Cochin steamer agents seek concession - 2012-03-12

The Cochin Steamer Agents Association has urged the Kochi Port to extent 30 per cent concessional tariff to feeder vessels till March 2013. The request comes in the wake of the problems being faced by the container shipping industry due to prospects of a European recession. The current situation has forced many mainlines to terminate unviable services, Mr Santosh Kumar, President of the association, said. Addressing the 33rd annual general meeting, he said that as many as 302 feeder vessels had called Kochi Port during April 2010 and March 2011, whereas it has reduced to 289 during April 2011-Feb 2012.

However, arrival of mainline vessels to the International Container Transshipment Terminal remained unchanged at 61 ships. By offering concessional vessel-related charges, he said the port was able to retain the number of mainline vessels on par with 2010-11, while the number of feeder vessels during 2011-12 had dropped marginally. Reviewing the vessel call statistics for 2010-11 compared to 2009-10, he said there was almost a 1.72 per cent drop in the number of vessels that called the port with almost 8 per cent drop in feeder-vessel calls. During 2009-10, the port had registered 390 container vessels (mainline and feeder), and this has dropped to 363 in 2010-11.

The President called upon the Port Trust Chairman to make efforts in getting the relaxation for the Cabotage law from the Shipping Ministry so as to turn around the Vallarpadam terminal as well as to boost the image of Kochi Port. He also expressed the hope that the port will turn around from being in red by the next financial year with the completion of various developmental projects including the LNG terminal. The association also requested the Chairman to recommend Chennai Steamer Agents' Association for the trustees seat on the port trust board for 2012-14.