Samsara Newsletter

Week 32, 2018 (Aug 04 - Aug 10)

Policy & Economy News

IMF says India's economy is an elephant that's starting to run, flags risks

Government to wheel in a new industrial policy soon

Business News - The India Boom Factor

New export opportunities seen for India in trade with US & China exports to $60 bn by 2022

India's footwear industry has huge potential for export: Suresh Prabhu

Farm exports clock 6% growth in Q1 to touch $4.68 billion

Oilmeals export rises 24% in April-July 2018 : SEA

Shipping News

Hapag Lloyd launches New East Africa Service 2 linking Persian Gulf & India with Africa

India seeks changes in Coastal Shipping pact with Bangladesh to push Transhipment

Logistics News

Three logistics parks to come up in Ludhiana

Indian logistics sector is at a very interesting juncture: DHL SmarTrucking CEO

Indian Port News

APSEZ handles 9% higher Cargo in Q1 FY 2019, achieves highest quarterly throughput

Krishnapatnam Port to set up Rs 500 cr (Rs.5 billion) Liquid Cargo Terminal, add three more berths

NMPT to get mechanised bulk cargo berth by January

ICTT Vallarpadam to be promoted as International storage hub for empty Containers : CPT Chairman

JN Port's DPD share rises significantly in July 2018, up by 12% over June

Policy & Economy News

IMF says India's economy is an elephant that's starting to run, flags risks
Bloomberg - Aug 8 Top
The IMF forecasted India's growth at 7.3 percent in the fiscal year through March 2019 and 7.5 percent in the year after that India is on track to hold its position as one of the world's fastest-growing economies as reforms start to pay off, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The $2.6 trillion economy was described by Ranil Salgado, the IMF's mission chief for India, as an elephant starting to run, with growth forecast at 7.3 per cent in the fiscal year through March 2019 and 7.5 per cent in the year after that. The nation accounts for about 15 per cent of global growth, according to the Washington-based fund.

Key risks flagged by the IMF in its annual Article IV assessment of the economy include higher oil prices, tightening global financial conditions and tax revenue shortfalls. Authorities should take advantage of stronger growth to bring down debt levels, simplify the consumption tax system and continue to gradually tighten monetary policy, it said.

After a shock cash ban in late 2016 and a disruptive nationwide sales tax last year, India's economy is once again gaining momentum. Growth reached the fastest pace in seven quarters in January through March, and high-frequency indicators from purchasing managers' surveys to auto sales data show the economy is likely to grow above 7 per cent.

The government is due to release gross domestic product data on Aug. 31 for the three months ended June.

A high growth rate may not necessarily resonate with voters in elections next year as they continue to face issues such as unemployment and farm distress.

There are other risks. The rupee has plunged 7 per cent against the dollar this year, the worst performer among major Asian currencies, threatening the inflation outlook. The Reserve Bank of India delivered its second straight interest rate hike last week as policymakers seek to maintain economic stability against a global backdrop of trade tensions and high oil prices.

Continuing structural reforms would be key to high growth, Salgado said in a conference call. Further rationalization of the goods and services tax would give maximum benefits, and labour reforms would be an incentive for companies to expand, he added.

Other key points from the report:

* Recovery is underway led by an investment pickup
* External vulnerabilities remain contained but have risen
* India's export market share remains low; need to boost competitiveness
* There's need for maintaining exchange rate flexibility
* FX intervention should be two-way and limited to disorderly market conditions
* Government debt and budget deficit key macroeconomic challenges
* Need labour, land and product market reforms for jobs growth
* More needs to be done to ensure the health of state-run lenders

Government to wheel in a new industrial policy soon
Economic Times - New Delhi, Aug 9
The government will shortly unveil a new industrial policy that aims to speed up regulatory reforms and lower power tariffs to make businesses more competitive and create more jobs, senior officials said.

The policy, being given final touches by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), will be presented to Cabinet for approval in the next two weeks, they said.

The proposals include establishing an overarching body with representation by the Centre and the states similar to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council to enable swift decisions on key changes such as the revamp of labour laws, taxation provisions and land leasing.

Crucially, India's industrial sector has a 29% share in GDP at current prices, well below 44% for China. The reform is being pitched as potentially the biggest overhaul of industrial policy in about 30 years and will come just ahead of national elections next year.

"The proposed policy will be focussed on three pillars - competitiveness, sustainability and inclusion," said a senior official with knowledge of deliberations on the policy. "Cost of doing business needs to come down if the industry has to become competitive." The policy proposes a direct benefit transfer (DBT) for electricity for households and agriculture, which will result in It also moots a platform for peer-to-peer lending and cash-flow lending.

Power tariffs for industry are high because these subsidise electricity supplies to homes and farms. Bringing them down is part of the extensive action agenda in the policy to lower the cost of doing business, including cost of capital. For example, high power costs make aluminium made in the country uncompetitive in the global marketplace.

The comprehensive industrial policy was envisaged as a follow-up to initiatives such as Make in India and Startup India, aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing and entrepreneurship. The country's first chief statistician and leading economist Pronab Sen said such a policy was important as manufacturing had become more complex.

"We don't have five-year plans any more (after dismantling of the Planning Commission)," said Sen, who had also headed the National Statistical Commission. "You need an overarching framework wherein the different parts of the system can work together in an integrated manner as an industrial plan to address this."

The proposed Centre-state body will ensure swifter action at the state government level. It will be chaired by the union commerce and industry minister with state industry ministers as members.

The policy will also seek to create a framework to encourage research and development in the country by establishing an interface between academic institutions and businesses. To encourage innovation, it is likely to suggest a revamp of the intellectual property rights regime so that innovators have a greater say.

The final DIPP draft has drawn on inputs from various stakeholders to an initial document that had been posted in August 2017 for public comments.

The Industries (Development & Regulation) Act provides the necessary framework for implementing the industrial policy. Its last big revamp was in 1991 when the government liberalised the policy regime, dismantling the licence raj. Several steps have since then been taken to liberalise the regime and make it easier for businesses to do business. lower tariffs for industry.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

New export opportunities seen for India in trade with US & China
Exim News Service: New Delhi, Aug. 6
India can focus on numerous goods for expanding its exports to the US and China markets following the hike in duties by both countries on imports from each other, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has said: With the US imposing additional duty of 25 per cent on imports worth $ 34 billion from China, certain Indian products may become more competitive, according to CII.

As per its analysis, the goods that India should focus on for the US market include items in the categories of machinery, electrical equipment, vehicles and transport parts, chemicals, plastics and rubber products. Countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia have increased their exports of these products to the US in recent years, noted CII.

Based on India's current exports to the US in these categories, products such as intermediate parts for the defence and aerospace sector, vehicles and auto parts, engineering goods, etc. have a higher potential for export, noted CII. Sectors like apparel and textiles, footwear, toys and games and cell phone manufacturing are becoming competitive industries in India and need to be encouraged.

CII has suggested that the trade dialogue with the US should be strategised taking into account India's competitive advantage in these products. Foreign direct investments from the US should be encouraged by boosting confidence of US companies in India's business climate. This might necessitate addressing their concerns regarding non-tariff barriers in India for better outcomes in the long term.

In the domestic industry, CII stated that it is important for India to enhance productivity while adding technology to its domestic production in the identified products. The following recommendations were put forward:

* The Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) under the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 includes major product groups of interest to the US and should be used to build exports in the identified categories.

* Indian companies require better access to export credit to intensify the export effort.
* Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) should be supported in exporting intermediate and high-technology products.
* Trade facilitation must be a high priority to lower transaction costs and enhance competitiveness.
CII examined 818 product lines where the US has raised tariffs for imports from China. Between 2012 and 2017, China's exports to the US have moved up the value chain with accelerated growth in high-technology items such as telecommunications equipment, automotive, cell phones, etc.

Top exports from India to the US which are covered in the list of items for which tariffs have been hiked include pumps, parts of military aircraft, parts for electro-diagnostic apparatus, passenger vehicles of 1,500-3,000 cc, valve bodies and parts of taps. Exports of these items stood at over $ 50 million in 2017, according to CII, and can be increased with concerted efforts, said a release.

India's footwear industry has huge potential for export: Suresh Prabhu
Exim News Service: New Delhi, Aug. 6 Top
The Indian footwear industry has huge potential for export and employment generation, according to the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Mr Suresh Prabhu. He was speaking at the inaugural programme of the 4th India International Footwear Fair 2018 (IIFF) at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

India will soon become a global hub for manufacturing footwear to cater to growing demand. The government of India is formulating a strategy for greater coordination with states as well as trade bodies for the global promotion of India's footwear industry, he said.

Efforts are being made to boost India's leather and footwear trade to new markets in African countries, which will help India to become a part of the global supply chain. The Minister assured that the government of India will extend all possible support to the footwear industry, said a release.

Farm exports clock 6% growth in Q1 to touch $4.68 billion
Daily Shipping Times -New Delhi, Aug 6 Top
Exports of farm and processed food products registered near 6 per cent growth in dollar terms to $4.68 billion during the April-June quarter over the corresponding period last year.

In rupee terms, the growth was higher, at around 10 per cent, touching Rs. 31,397 crore (Rs.313.9 billion) as against Rs. 28,564 crore (Rs.285.6 billion) in the corresponding quarter last year, according to the latest numbers from the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (Apeda).

The higher growth in rupee terms could be attributed to the weakening of the currency, which fell by around 5.45 per cent against the dollar during the quarter.

The export growth has come about mainly on account of strong demand for non-basmati rice, pulses, dairy products, guar gum, fruit and vegetable seeds, among others.

Key products such as basmati rice and buffalo meat registered flat to negative growth in dollar terms on a dip in volumes.

Basmati rice exports dropped in volumes to 1.16 million tonnes (mt) as against 1.25 mt in the same period last year. A weak currency in Iran - the largest buyer - impacted the earnings.

Meanwhile Non-basmati rice shipments sustained their growth with exports touching 1.97 mt (1.75 mt). Groundnut exports surged to 1.26 lakh tonnes (90,103 tonnes) on good demand from South-East Asian countries such as Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Exports of pulses have picked up, with volumes exceeding over one lakh tonnes during the quarter, enjoying robust demand from countries such as Turkey, Algeria and UAE. Similarly, volumes in dairy products increased to 35,720 tonnes (23,703 tonnes).

The US was the largest buyer of Indian dairy products, followed by Egypt and UAE.

Oilmeals export rises 24% in April-July 2018 : SEA
Daily Shipping Times - New Delhi, Aug 9 Top
According to a latest update from the Solvent Extractor's Association (SEA) of India, the total export of oilmeals was reported at 148983 tonnes in July 2018, recording a spurt of 18.33% compared to July 2017. The overall export during April-July 2018 was reported at 898871 tonnes, up nearly 24% over the comparable period last year.

The SEA noted that export of rapeseed meal jumped sharply, recording a spurt of 90% in last three months due to strong demand from South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. The ongoing trade dispute between US and China has created a lot of uncertainty and is forcing China to look out to other origins for their requirements of Soybean and oilmeals. This has compelled China to relook its ban imposed for importing oilmeals from India since 2012, according to the SEA.

Shipping News

Hapag Lloyd launches New East Africa Service 2 linking Persian Gulf & India with Africa
Daily Shipping Times -Hamburg, Aug 8
Hapag-Lloyd has informed that it will further enhance its East Africa product by introducing the new East Africa Service 2 (EAS 2), which will directly link the Persian Gulf and the West Coast of India with East Africa. Further connection to the global mainliner services will be executed via Jebel Ali. With effect as of end of September, Hapag-Lloyd will enter a co-operation with partners to become a vessel provider in an existing service connecting West Indian and Middle East Gulf Ports to Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, said a company release. The Port rotation will be as follows: Nhava Sheva - Mundra - Khor Fakkan - Jebel Ali - Mombasa - Dar es Salaam - Nhava Sheva. EAS2 will connect to numerous Hapag-Lloyd mainliner services at Jebel Ali, offering competitive lead times between global markets. "We will continue to offer a wide range of hinterland connections, such as Burundi, Congo D.R., Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia via gateways of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam," added the release.

The first estimated departure times of EAS2 will be:
* Southbound: Nhava Sheva September 29, 2018, Jebel Ali October 5, 2018
* Northbound: Mombasa October 13, 2018, Dar Es Salaam October 18, 2018
At the same time, our East Africa Service (EAS) will be terminated.

The last estimated EAS departure times will be:
* Southbound: Spero 1840S, Jeddah October 8, 2018
* Northbound: Spero 1840N, Mombasa October 19, 2018, Dar Es Salaam October 22, 2018.

India seeks changes in Coastal Shipping pact with Bangladesh to push Transhipment
Daily Shipping Times - Mumbai, Aug 8 Top
Container shipping lines and port operators are seeking a change in the bilateral Coastal Shipping Agreement signed between India and Bangladesh to permit transhipment of Bangladesh cargo from Indian Ports.

The India-Bangladesh Coastal Shipping Agreement covers only origin-destination cargo between the two neighbouring countries.

"We have started discussions with authorities in Bangladesh to allow transshipment of their cargo from Indian Ports," Capt Deepak Tewari, Chairman of the Container Shipping Lines' Association (CSLA), said. "Chittagong Port in Bangladesh is heavily congested; so why not take advantage of that," he said.

The Shipping Ministry will separately pursue an amendment to the pact, a Shipping Ministry official said.

Garment cargo from Bangladesh is currently sent to the UK via the transhipment hubs of Colombo or Singapore.

Recently, India denied request from a major UK-based retailer to transship its garment cargo from Bangladesh through Chennai as this was not allowed in the Coastal Shipping Agreement, the Ministry official said.

"There is a case for re-visiting the bilateral Coastal Shipping Agreement signed between India and Bangladesh to include transhipment cargo as well," said Ms. Vinita Venkatesh, Director, Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal Pvt Ltd.

To facilitate transhipment, Chennai Customs has issued a notice stating that coastal vessels will now get Import General Manifest (IGM)/ Export General Manifest (EGM) rotation number for transhipment containers.

Chennai Customs has also given green signal to sea-air transhipment of cargo from Chennai to West Asia based on a proposal from Orient Shipping Line. Besides, the Chennai Customs is evaluating the possibility of allowing transloading (re-stuffing into new containers) of Bangladesh garment cargo for an exporter who wants to transship the cargo to UK via Chennai instead of Singapore, the Ministry official said.

Logistics News

Three logistics parks to come up in Ludhiana
India Seatrade News - Aug 8 Top
Punjab's Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora said here Friday that three mega logistics parks would come up in the Ludhiana district that would act as stimulants for growth of industry.

The minister, who was addressing Punjab Logistics Conclave 2018 here, said logistics had been included in the state's industrial policy as it was the backbone of the industry.

He said the three parks would be coming up near Kila Raipur village of the district. These include a multimodal logistics park by Adani group, second by Punjab Logistics Infrastructure Limited and the third by Punjab State Warehousing Corporation. These would cater to the industrial belt of Ludhiana, including industrial hubs in Jalandhar, Amritsar, Bathinda, Sangrur, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Hoshiarpur.

The minister said the state government was willing to provide land at a reserve price to industrialists forming clusters. He said that till now, 25 clusters had been approved in the state and two new clusters approved for oil expeller industry in Ludhiana district.

While addressing a press conference later, Arora said all cases related to VAT and GST would be cleared by December 2018.

Mahesh Khanna, GM, district industry centre in Ludhiana, said that during the conclave, 14 MoUs worth Rs 869 crore (Rs.8.6 billion) were signed between the industrialists and the Punjab government.

Indian logistics sector is at a very interesting juncture: DHL SmarTrucking CEO
India Seatrade News - Aug 8 Top
The Indian logistics sector is at a very interesting juncture now, though it is highly unorganised, with low on-time reliability and high transit times, according to a senior executive at the DHL. The global logistics giant DHL which launched the Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled 'SmarTrucking' in May plans to provide an innovative trucking solution across the extensive road network in India, DHL SmarTrucking CEO Neeraj Bansal said.

It was launched with an aim to give a makeover to the country's logistics sector by bringing in reliability of operations, improve operational efficiency and service quality and reduce costs for the customers through the innovative use of new and emerging technologies.

"The Indian logistics sector is at a very interesting juncture right now. On one hand, there are some great initiatives that are creating immense growth potential in the sector, while on the other, constraints continue exist that are putting the brakes on this growth," Bansal said.

He said that the sector was highly unorganised, with low on time reliability and high transit times.

It also faces challenges due to low technology adoption and lack of skilled drivers, Bansal said, adding that the industry is also very fragmented with many small local players as well, but there is no single player in the market that has a strong national presence.

"Our aim is to offer the fastest transit times and highest reliability with ease of use, end-to-end consignment visibility, temperature-controlled capabilities and real-time tracking that beats industry standards," he said.

"Our goal is to give the Indian logistics sector a makeover through the innovative use of new and emerging technologies," Bansal said.

"With DHL SmarTrucking, we plan to build a fully-owned, 10,000-strong, IoT-enabled and temperature-controlled fleet and hire 20,000 - 25,000 drivers in the next 10 years," he added.

DHL SmarTrucking uses the Internet of Things (IoT) to enable traceability, visibility and reliability of operations.

This reduces transit times by up to 50 per cent compared to the traditional trucking industry and provides over 95 per cent on time reliability with ease of use, end-to-end consignment visibility, temperature-controlled capabilities and real-time tracking, he added.

Indian Port News

APSEZ handles 9% higher Cargo in Q1 FY 2019, achieves highest quarterly throughput
Daily Shipping Times - Ahmedabad, Aug 8 Top
Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited ("APSEZ&rdquoblink1.gif, India's largest port developer and the logistics arm of Adani Group, recently announced its operational and financial performance for the first quarter ended 30th June, 2018.

Consolidated Revenues:- There was no SEZ port led development income in Q1FY19 compared to Rs. 661 cr (Rs.6.6 billion) booked in Q1FY18. If we exclude SEZ port led development revenue earned in Q1FY18, Consolidated Revenue in Q1FY19 has grown by 16% (Rs. 2411 cr v/s Rs. 2084 cr - Rs.24 billion v/s Rs.20.8 billion).

Consolidated EBITDA:- We have not earned any SEZ port led development EBITDA in Q1FY19 compared to Rs. 280 cr (Rs.2.8 billion) earned in Q1FY18. If we exclude SEZ port led development EBITDA, Consolidated EBITDA has grown by 23%.(Rs.1588 cr v/s Rs. 1287 cr - Rs.15.8 billion v/s Rs. 12.8 billion)).

Consolidated EBITDA margin:- Has expanded as there was no SEZ port led development expense in Q1FY19.

PBT and PAT:- As per Indian Accounting Standards (IND- AS) applicable from 1st April, 2016, all international currency loans should be marked to market through Profit and Loss. Indian Rupee depreciated by 5% in Q1FY19. Thus, We have provided mark to market loss of Rs. 383 cr (Rs.3.8 billion) in Q1FY19 compared to a gain of Rs. 32 cr (RS.320 million) booked in Q1FY18. This has resulted in reporting lower PBT and PAT. However, from cash flow perspective there will be no impact.

Operational Performance and other Important Developments: -

* We have completed acquisition of Kattupalli Port in this quarter. We have also recommenced operations at our Vizag Terminal.
* Cargo volume in Q1 FY19 grew by 9% (Year on Year). The growth was led by crude which grew by 65% and containers which grew by 16%.
* The cargo volume growth was led by our three larger ports.
While Mundra Port grew by 5%, Hazira grew by 14% and Kattupalli Port grew by 13%.
* Mundra Port received Golden Peacock environment management award for FY18.
Mr. Karan Adani, Chief Executive Officer and Whole Time Director of APSEZ said, "We have clocked highest quarterly throughput with a growth of 9% in Q1FY19. This has been possible due to our continued efforts to diversify cargo at all our ports. Port EBITDA margins have expanded by 100 BPS to 70% and we expect EBITDA to continue to expand due to our focus on higher capacity utilization, automation and mechanisation through use of technology. Our focus will be to further strengthen our balance sheet and to continue best practices in health, safety and environment processes."

Krishnapatnam Port to set up Rs 500 cr (Rs.5 billion) Liquid Cargo Terminal, add three more berths
Daily Shipping Times - Hyderabad, Aug 6 Top
Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited has finalised plans to set up a liquid cargo terminal, which will be biggest on the East Coast, while adding three more berths this year to existing 12 as a part of its expansion plans.

Located in Andhra Pradesh, the port is in the process of taking up expansion of various facilities, to cater to the growing demand and traffic. This would mean addition of three more berths to 12 in operation now, expanding warehousing capacity from 2 million sq.ft by adding about 0.4 million sq.ft and container terminal capacity from 1.2 mn TEU to 2 mn TEU.

Sharing the company expansion plans on the sidelines of a Logistics event, Anil Yendluri, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Krishnapatnam Port highlighted that "The port is witness to a strong growth and the first quarter has been very buoyant. Given this backdrop, we expect to see a growth of about 25 per cent this fiscal."

"To meet the growing demand, we are not only adding three more births, warehouse capacity and container terminal handling capacity, which are likely to entail investment of about Rs 300 crore (Rs.3 billion) this fiscal, we are in the process of finalising setting up of a liquid cargo terminal," he said.

"After the demonetisation and implementation of the GST, the business was temporarily impacted. However, the performance during the first quarter this fiscal and the various economic indicators point towards a strong growth. In order to meet the growing demand, we are expanding and also setting up new facilities," he said.

"The liquid cargo terminal is something we have been planning for some time and now we have finalised to set it up. Most of the clearances are in place and we expect to complete it within 12-18 months," the CEO said.

LNG handling

The terminal, which can handle LPG and other liquid cargo, would also be later developed to handle LNG if there is requirement. This is expected to come up on a 500 acre site in the port area.

The Port Company closed last financial year with a turnover of over Rs 1900 crore (Rs.19 billion). With a growth of about 25 per cent, it expects to achieve revenues of over Rs 2400 crore (Rs.24 billion).

NMPT to get mechanised bulk cargo berth by January
Daily Shipping Times -Mangaluru, Aug 6 Top
The New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) has initiated the process of mechanising two of its berths. One of them - Berth 16 - is likely to be completed by January.

MT Krishna Babu, IAS, Chairman of NMPT, said that around Rs. 430 crore (RS.4.3 billion) is being invested on the mechanisation of the berth 16 at the port for handling bulk cargo. The berth will have cargo handling capacity of 6.73 million tonne per annum (mtpa).


Stating that coal and other bulk materials are handled in a semi-mechanised way now, he said the new facility will provide end-to-end mechanisation. This will bring in a lot of improvement in the air quality, as there will be no intermediate manual handling in mechanised process.

On the other infrastructure project, Babu said NMPT will also take up the mechanisation of berth 14 for handling containers and other cargo. The port has issued RFQ (request for quotation) for this project.

The port authorities are trying to award the project by the end of this financial year. The port should be able to operationalise the berth by March 2020. He said that around Rs. 230 crore (Rs.2.3 billion) would be invested for the mechanisation of berth 14.

The port handled 43,973 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers (6.41 lakh tonnes of containerised cargo) till July 30 of 2018-19 as against 30,087 TEUs (4.54 lakh tonnes) in the corresponding period previous fiscal, registering a growth of 46 per cent.

Cargo handling

The total cargo handling at the port stood at 14.04 million tonnes (mt) till July 30 of 2018-19 as against 13.05 mt in the corresponding period of the previous year, recording a growth of 7.63 per cent.

To a query, he said the port has set a target to handle 45 mt of cargo for 2018-19.

ICTT Vallarpadam to be promoted as International storage hub for empty Containers : CPT Chairman
Daily Shipping Times - Kochi, Aug 7 Top
Leveraging the cabotage relaxation, the Cochin Port Trust intends to promote ICTT Vallarpadam as an International storage hub for empty containers.

"We are in touch with shipping lines and terminal operators for repositioning their empties to all Major Ports and has also enhanced the free time of empty storage in the port from 3 to 10 days," AV Ramana, Port Chairman, said.

The availability of sufficient space in Kochi is an added advantage and this could attract empties from ports such as JNPT which lacks enough space for storage.

Repositioning of empties is now carried out at Colombo and Jebel Ali Port in the UAE. Besides getting additional revenue, the new business model will ensure Kochi a surge in empty containers that registered a steady rise in the last few years, posting a 29 per cent growth in 2017-18, he said.

Though the Shipping Ministry has eased the cabotage, he said, there are some technical issues with regard to foreign and domestic containers. As per the existing law, a foreign container could not carry domestic cargo due to Customs restrictions. The real benefit of easing the cabotage law will be felt by the trade only when such restrictions are removed, allowing foreign containers to carry cargo in domestic containers.

Likewise, cabotage relaxation for coastal movement of agriculture/horticulture commodities are limited by the prescription that such commodities should contribute to at least 50 per cent of the total cargo on board the ship. This prescription may not be achievable at least in the initial period, especially for larger foreign ships. It is advisable that the condition is dispensed with or brought down to 10 per cent to begin with until the modal shift is established to have higher thresholds, he said.

Meanwhile, Cochin Port Trust's efforts to become a cement hub have received a further fillip with the shore-based bagging plant of Penna Cements getting ready for operations very soon.

The company has set up a Rs. 60 crore (Rs.600 million) facility at Ernakulam wharf to handle powdered cement brought from Krishnapatnam to cater to the Kerala market. The facility will ensure an additional 0.8 million tonne cement throughput as well as a Rs. 8 crore (Rs.80 million) revenue a year.

Cement companies such as Zuari, Ambuja, Ultratech are now operating from the port, offering a 8-lakh tonne throughput and with Penna Cement starting operations, the figure may touch 11 lakh tonnes this fiscal, he added.

JN Port's DPD share rises significantly in July 2018, up by 12% over June
Daily Shipping Times - Mumbai, Aug 10 Top
...Port handled 58,376 TEUs of imports via DPD

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) registered substantial progress on two key productivity parameters in the month of June 2018.

JNPT - which handles the majority of India's container freight - in July for the first time achieved over 40 percent share of its volume via direct port delivery (DPD). JNPT in July also increased its rail volume to almost 15 percent - an improvement after prolonged declines.

Port statistics collected by show the port handled 58,376 TEU of imports via DPD during the month, out of total import volume of 143,699 TEU, representing a 41.6 percent DPD share. Moreover, that's a 12 percent increase from June, when DPD volume was 52,050 TEU.

Notably, APM Terminals-operated Gateway Terminals India accounted for nearly half of the July DPD volume, transacting 27,540 TEU out of 68,165 TEU in imports. July DPD figures at other terminals were as follows: port-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal, at 15,447 TEU out of 37,216 TEU; DP World-operated Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal, at 11,702 TEU out of 28,605 TEU; and DP World's flagship Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal, at 3,687 TEU out of 9,713 TEU.

The number of clients using DPD at JNPT has also increased substantially in recent months, thanks to aggressive stakeholder outreach efforts, reaching 1,648 clients in July, officials said.

New Volume High in Rail handling JNPT in July set a new high in rail handling, with volumes hitting 62,976 TEU in July, out of its combined export-import traffic of 429,145 TEU, compared with 55,400 TEU and 402,041 TEU, respectively, in June. Of that, APM Terminals Mumbai contributed 31,559 TEU, versus 25,634 in June, statistics show.

Although the port is still a long way from attaining a Government-desired scale of 25 percent rail share, that modest uptrend - a 1 percentage point gain - from 13.8 percent in June to 14.8 percent last month - is a positive sign, as authorities await regulatory approval for the introduction of a uniform-free storage policy for truck and train freight, offering three days per se, compared with seven days for rail and three days for truck.