Some Indian ports have made good headway in following the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways plan of making Indian ports mega ports by the end of 2047.
Ports in Andaman & Nicobar Islands’ Galathea Bay and those in Kerala’s Vizhinjam and Kochi region are on their way to becoming transhipment hubs, revealed the Shipping Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan.
According to the Indian government’s ‘Bharat Pravah- India, along its shores’ outlook, these ports need to be developed as transhipment hubs, specially Galathea, as it is crucial for the passage of bigger ships into the Bay of Bengal. This will benefit India’s neighbours Indonesia, Bangladesh and Thailand.
Transhipment hubs are necessary to connect destination and origin ports in a ship’s journey. Until now, 75% of transhipment cargo in India has been managed by non-Indian ports. Ports like Klang, Singapore, and Colombo are responsible for 85% or more of India’s transhipment cargo.
However, this plan is not without hiccups, as India’s containerization capacity is nearly half of other developing countries of the region. While other nations stand at 62-65%, India is stuck at 35%, revealed Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust Chairman Sanjay Sethi.
India is more into bulk shipping than container shipping, but it’s making good headway towards it, said the shipping secretary.
Meanwhile, Adani Ports CEO Subrat Tripathy highlighted how India’s share in world trade should enhance with good infrastructure and reforms in the procedure. Currently, India’s global trade share is 2%.
He further highlighted how a more extensive concession period in port handling helps, citing 99 year concession period in Bengal instead of a regular 30 years. This ensures a more significant capital cycle, loan structure and equity at the port terminals.
APM Terminals MD Girish Aggarwal highlighted the necessity of automation and digitization for efficiency at ports that will decrease waiting time in queues as gates, trucks etc., get automated, and containers get an RFID tag for tracking their movements, thereby controlling the traffic.
References: The Hindu, Bharat Times