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i-maritime News Service

Maersk introduces direct mainline service connecting W. African ports - 2013-07-13

To cater to the growing raw cashew imports from Africa, Maersk Line has introduced its first direct mainline service to ICTT Vallarpadam connecting West African ports.

The vessel MV Newyorker called at the terminal recently with raw cashews from ports such as Bissau and Abidjan. It has carried 1185 TEUs to Kochi and will also have transhipment volumes to Tuticorin and Mangalore. Maersk Line has planned five vessels in this service and this is the first vessel to call at ICTT.

West Africa is a major sourcing hub for raw cashews. The service is expected to play a pivotal role for the cashew trade in the region as there is a major inflow of raw cashews to the processing units in Kollam and other parts of Southern India. The raw cashew imports season from West Africa to Kochi starts from June- July and continues until late August.

Officials said the terminal has recently increased its draft to 14.5 metres that will further increase its capacity to handle large mainline vessels. The terminal has achieved a high level productivity of 30 moves per hour per crane, which is currently the best in the country.

The company has also introduced various other measures thereby making it a crucial gateway to the south Indian hinterland, which contributes to a quarter of India’s trade volume. Today, the truck turnaround time is an average of 45 minutes from gate to gate, which is benefitting the trade and the transporters by reducing idle time.

This has been achieved by aligning various process involved, right from truck parking to documentation and planning which avoids any inefficiencies in the system. The introduction of a one-stop solution for Customs documentation, which is operational 24x7, will speed up the process and reduce the cost to the trade. Besides, a system for weighing containers and cargo has started inside the terminal to avoid external delays.

Source: The Hindu Business Line