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i-maritime News Service

Kochi port extends sops for ships calling at Vallarpadam - 2012-10-12


The Kochi port has extended by one more year the concession on vessel-related charges applicable to ships calling at ICTT Vallarpadam. The Board of Trustees, which met here, had approved the proposal to renew the extension that expired in September. The concessions being extended include a special tariff in vessel-related charges matching that of Colombo port for mainline vessels with international ports of call in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and any port of China.

The concession extended is up to 86 per cent of the prescribed tariff for a mainline vessel of 60,000 gross register tonnage with 12 hours of stay at the port. This rate is attractive enough to make Kochi a transhipment hub in South Asia. There will be a 30 per cent concession on vessel-related charges for feeder vessels because of the high rates in Kochi compared to neighbouring ports in the country, senior port officials said. According to officials, it was also decided to offer 50 per cent concession in vessel-related charges for container vessel services with a minimum of two sailings from Kochi to West Asia and South-East Asia in a period of 30 days.

This is subject to the condition that not more than 20 per cent of the cargo loaded from ICTT is headed to Colombo. This initiative will help draw cargo to Kochi from the primary and secondary hinterland. The cargo is now diverted to neighbouring ports.

The port’s assessment is that the concessions have helped in attracting more mainline vessels to Kochi during the past year. The number of mainline vessels calling at Kochi had increased to 72 during 2011-12, accounting for nearly 50,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) as against 60 vessels during the previous financial year. During April-August this year, 61 mainline vessels called with a total of 40,859 TEUs.

Together with the recent relaxation in Cabotage Law granted by the Union Shipping Ministry, the port officials hope that the rate concessions will draw more mainline sails to the ICTT.

Source : Hindu Business Line