Samsara Newsletter

Week 34, 2018 (Aug 18 - Aug 24)

Policy & Economy News

Indian economy to grow around 7.5 % in 2018 and 2019: Moody's Rating

New Industrial Policy to focus on jobs, push tech use, cut red tape

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India-Bangladesh trade to scale new high

India, Singapore sign Second Protocol amending bilateral trade pact

Government extends sugar export deadline by 3 months till December

Tobacco exports from India register increase of 7 pc

Haier to set up Rs 3k cr (Rs.30 billion) manufacturing units at Greater Noida

Shipping News

Hapag-Lloyd's EA Service to connect India with East Africa from Sept

VOC Port weaning mainline vessels off Colombo

Logistics News

800-km stretch of dedicated freight corridor to be opened this year

National Logistics Portal to bring all on one platform

Warehouse leasing up 45% at 10 mn sq ft in first-half: CBRE

Concor to run trains with EXIM boxes to Kandla container terminal

Indian Port News

Ministry of Shipping upgrading India's Port capabilities

PSA's Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals increases service levels with nine more rubber tyre gantry cranes

Policy & Economy News

Indian economy to grow around 7.5 % in 2018 and 2019: Moody's Rating
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Aug 24 Top
The Indian economy is expected to grow by around 7.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019 as it is largely resilient to external pressures like those from higher oil prices, Moody's Investors Service said recently.

In its Global Macro Outlook for 2018-19, Moody's said the run-up in energy prices over the last few months will raise headline inflation temporarily but the growth story remains intact as it is supported by strong urban and rural demand and improved industrial activity.

"Growth prospects for many of the G-20 economies remain solid, but there are indications that the synchronous acceleration of growth heading into 2018 is now giving way to diverging trends. The near-term global outlook for most advanced economies is broadly resilient, in contrast to the weakening of some developing economies in the face of emerging headwinds from rising US trade protectionism, tightening external liquidity conditions and elevated oil prices," it said.

Moody's put G-20 growth at 3.3 per cent in 2018 and 3.1 per cent in 2019. The advanced economies will grow 2.3 per cent in 2018 and 2 per cent in 2019, while G-20 emerging markets will remain the growth drivers at 5.1 per cent in both 2018 and 2019. "We expect the Indian economy to grow around 7.5 per cent in 2018 and 2019," it said.

New Industrial Policy to focus on jobs, push tech use, cut red tape
Hopes to attract $100 b a year in FDI
The Hindu Business Line: New Delhi, August 23
The much-anticipated New Industrial Policy, which will replace the 27-year-old existing policy and pave the way for promotion of new technology and reduced regulations, has been placed before the Union Cabinet for approval.

"The New Industrial Policy is now just a Cabinet nod away. Its implementation will lead to job creation and modernisation of units, and will encourage entrepreneurs to experiment with new technology to improve efficiency," a government official told BusinessLine. "All ministries and departments concerned were kept in the loop throughout the drafting process. Hence, there were no major changes proposed during the inter-ministerial consultations," the official said.

This will be the third industrial policy drafted in independent India. The first was announced in 1956, and the second, in 1991. The draft industrial policy floated in August 2017 by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion aims to create jobs over the next two decades, promote foreign technology transfer and attract $100 billion FDI annually.

While the policy does not suggest direct changes in laws such as those governing labour, it is likely to propose the establishment of a body with representation from the Centre and the States to work on changes whenever required. It also suggests strengthening of municipal bodies.

To promote the use of new technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence, the policy is expected to emphasise promoting R&D and set up an institutional mechanism to encourage commercial utilisation of research done using government funds, the official said. Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has said the policy would include steps to cut down unnecessary regulations. "The New Industrial Policy will encourage the industry to work together with the government to improve productivity, R&D efforts, and efficiency," the official said.

The policy will focus on ‘Make in India', improving ease of doing business, aligning trade and manufacturing, improving access to credit for MSMEs, industrial infrastructure creation, skill development and promotion of technology. The DIPP is also hopeful that the policy will act as a catalyst to help the Start-up India initiative to drive India's economic growth.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India-Bangladesh trade to scale new high
Daily Shipping Times: Kolkata, Aug 23
India's textile import doubles
The Bangladeshi financial year 2017-18 (July-June) might prove to be a landmark in bilateral trade relations. For the first time trade is set to cross $9 billion mark and Bangladesh's exports to India will close near $900 million, riding primarily on ready-made garments, according to sources.

Though India offered duty-free and quota free entry to Bangladesh goods under the (South Asian Free Trade Area) SAFTA agreement in 2011, Dhaka was slow in taking advantage of the facility, as their exports to India grew from $512 million to $672 million over the last six years.

During the past 11 months Bangladesh's garment exports to India increased by 113 per cent from $129 million to $276 million.

Add to this footwear, fish, beverages etc and India's imports from Bangladesh increased by a 30 per cent ($201 million) since July, 2017. In fact the introduction of GST in July 2017, led to withdrawal of 12 per cent countervailing duty (CVD) on textiles. The withdrawal of CVD was not specific to Bangladesh neither Bangladesh is the only beneficiary.

But it surely came as an advantage for Bangladesh, which is world's second largest exporter of ready-made garments. The competitive edge should increase with the recent hiking of import duty on 328 textile products, which is not applicable to Bangladesh.

The sharp rise in imports from Bangladesh attracted attention of Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI), which pointed out that it will open a flood gate if India doesn't amend the FTA, which was entered without sufficient rules of origin safeguard.

India, Singapore sign Second Protocol amending bilateral trade pact
Economic Times: August 24 Top
India and Singapore on Friday signed the "Second Protocol" amending the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to boost trade ties between the two countries, an official statement said..

The protocol was signed by Joint Secretary of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Rajneesh and Francis Chong, Senior Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Government of Singapore, it said..

The CECA was signed on June 29, 2005 and its first review was concluded on October 1, 2007..

"The signing of the Second Protocol, amending CECA, will boost bilateral trade between India and Singapore," the Commerce Ministry statement said..

It further said, signing of the Second Protocol formally brings the negotiations on second review of CECA, which began on May 11, 2010, to a closure..

"India and Singapore have successfully reached mutual understanding and agreement in closing the second review," it said. Both sides agreed to expand the coverage of tariff concessions, liberalise the "Rules of Origin", rationalise "Product Specific Rules" and include provisions on "Certificate of Origin" and cooperation on its verification.

The conclusion of the Second Review of CECA was announced during the visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore on June 1, 2018. The provisions of the Second Protocol will come into effect on September 14, 2018..

As per Commerce Ministry, both the countries are exploring the possibility of launching the third review of India-Singapore CECA in September, 2018..

Singapore is the second largest trading partner of India within ASEAN and India is the largest trading partner of Singapore in South Asia, with a bilateral trade of $17.7 billion in 2017-18. .

Government extends sugar export deadline by 3 months till December
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Aug 24 Top
The Food Ministry has extended the deadline for exporting 2 million tonne of sugar by three months to December as only a fourth of it has been shipped so far.

In March, the Government had allowed sugar export in view of record domestic output of 32 MT.

Mill-wise, Minimum Indicative Export Quotas (MIEQ) were allocated by the Ministry in May.

"The date of export of MIEQ allocated to sugar mills is extended by three months up to December 31," an official order said. Mills can export either sugar produced in the current 2017-18 season or the next 2018-19 season (October-September), it said.

As per the official data, only about 5 lakh tonne sugar has been exported so far. The shipments have been lower due to non-availability of raw sugar which is in demand in the global market.

Tobacco exports from India register increase of 7 pc
Exim News Service - Guntur, Aug. 20 Top
According to a Tobacco Board report, India exported tobacco worth Rs 1,447.80 crore (Rs.14.47 billion) to Europe and South-East Asia in the first quarter of the current fiscal, registering an increase of 7 per cent over last year.

In volume terms, the export of both tobacco and its products rose by 2.65 per cent to 53,213 tonnes during the April-June quarter of the 2018-19 fiscal. In the year-ago period, the country had exported 51,802 tonnes valuing Rs 1,352 crore (Rs.13.52 billion).

Much of the exports were in unmanufactured form, especially flue-cured virginia (FCV) tobacco, a variety used in cigarettes, followed by small quantities of tobacco products like cigarettes, bidis, hookah tobacco paste, cut tobacco, snuff and cigars, the Board's data showed. However, export of FCV tobacco declined to 32,687 tonnes in the period from Rs 33,401 tonnes a year ago. In value terms though, the shipments rose to Rs 814.37 crore (Rs.8.14 billion) as against Rs 791.46 crore (Rs.7.91 billion), reports said.

Haier to set up Rs 3k cr (Rs.30 billion) manufacturing units at Greater Noida
PTI:  New Delhi, August 23 Top
Haier Appliances will invest Rs 3,069 crore (Rs.30.69 billion) to establish manufacturing units at an industrial township in Greater Noida, UP, DMICDC said today.

The consumer electronics company expects to generate direct employment for 3,950 people with this project, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) said in a statement.

It has been allotted 123.7 acre of land in the DMIC Integrated Industrial Township Greater Noida (IITGN) project for setting up manufacturing units, it said.

Besides, Chinese Mobile maker Forme's Indian subsidiary Forme Trading has been allotted 3.5 acre land in IITGN for the same purpose. "Forme Trading plans to invest Rs 100 crore (Rs.1 billion) in its new mobile phone manufacturing unit at IITGN which is likely to create 600 direct and 1,000 indirect jobs," it added.

Satkriti Infotainment, a sister concern of leading audio manufacturer Fenda Audio India, is another company to have been allotted land in the township project.

"Combined investment of the three companies is pegged at Rs 3,404 crore (Rs. 34.04 billion) and is likely to generate 12,550 employment opportunities," it added.

DMIC project is aimed at creating mega industrial infrastructure along the 1,483-km-long Delhi-Mumbai Rail Freight Corridor. Dholera (Gujarat) is the biggest of the eight industrial smart cities being developed in the first phase of the project. Overall, DMICDC is setting up 56 Greenfield smart industrial townships.

Shipping News

Hapag-Lloyd's EA Service to connect India with East Africa from Sept.
Daily Shipping Times: Hamburg, Aug 24
In April 2018 Hapag-Lloyd launched the East Africa Service (EAS), its first dedicated service to East Africa. The weekly service sails from Jeddah to Mombasa, and from there to Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania, and directly back to Jeddah. After a successful start this service will be expanded in September with a weekly connection to and from Nhava Sheva, Mundra, Khor Fakkan, Jebel Ali, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. The so called EAS2 will replace the current EAS service and directly link the Persian Gulf and the West Coast of India with East Africa.

Hapag-Lloyd also offers inland transportation to and from East African hinterland locations of Bujumbura (Burundi), Kigali (Rwanda), Lubumbashi (Democratic Republic of Congo), Lusaka (Zambia) and Kampala (Uganda).

"I am delighted that our East Africa Service from and to Kenya is developing so positively. After only four months in operation, we have significantly expanded our business with overall vessel utilization beyond our expectations," said Capt. Dheeraj Bhatia, Managing Director Africa, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent for Hapag-Lloyd AG. "With our upcoming new EAS2 service we will be able to offer even better connections from and to East Africa.

All in all we are experiencing growing client demand which demonstrates the economic potential of Kenya."

VOC Port weaning mainline vessels off Colombo
India Seatrade News: Aug 24 Top
Taiwan's Wan Hai Lines Ltd will start calling at VO Chidambaranar Port instead of Colombo on its CI2 service connecting China with Europe as the port located in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukudi district is being primed to attract mainline vessel services after cabotage restriction was lifted in May.

The CI2 service will be the first mainline vessel service to call at a major port owned by the Centre after cabotage was eased, allowing foreign-flagged container ships to carry export-import (exim) containers for transshipment and empty containers for repositioning on local routes.

Wan Hai's head office in Taiwan has approved the proposal to call at VOC Port Trust (VOCPT) while other partners in the CI2 service are being pursued for their internal approvals, according to McKinsey & Company, the consultant hired by the Shipping Ministry to prepare a strategy for transshipment and mainline calls at major ports.

"Geographically, VOCPT is the best-suited Indian port that can compete with Colombo for transshipment, but it needs better infrastructure and draft to allow bigger mainline ships to dock," said a shipping industry official.

VOCPT has agreed to give a draft of 12.5 metres and 270-metre length overall (LOA) to main line services with current infrastructure which would be improved once the dredging around turning circle is completed. VOCPT has two container terminals, run separately by PSA Sical Terminals Ltd and Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal Pvt Ltd.

Calling at VOC Port instead of Colombo - a big regional transshipment hub - entails a deviation of 51 nautical miles, which translates into an additional voyage time of three hours for a ship. A parcel size of about 100 TEUs per week is sufficient to justify the CI2 call at VOCPT, according to industry experts.

Of the 50 services calling at Colombo, five have been identified to call at VOCPT ahead of a planned dredging project to deepen the port. Apart from the CI2 service, other services include the AEX, the ASEA/ATX X-Press, HSX-CH3 and CCG. Another four services have been identified that can call at VOCPT based on its captive traffic alone after dredging is completed. These include services such as the EAX, Australia Express, East Coast EC5 and Empire.

Main line ship services calling at Colombo are fed Indian origin-destination containers through small feeder ships. A main line call at VOCPT will yield a benefit of as much as $50 per TEU for a ship, compared to using it as a feeder port, say experts.

Sending a container from VOCPT to Colombo en-route to the UK/Shanghai would cost $288 after factoring in vessel-related charges (VRC) and box transfer cost at Colombo, feedering cost from VOCPT to Colombo, container related charges (CRC) at VOCPT and mainline voyage cost, assuming a parcel size of 1,000 TEUs per week.

A mainline call at VOCPT would cost $50 per TEU less with savings accruing mainly from the feedering cost from VOCPT to Colombo vs VRC at VOCPT and box transfer cost at Colombo vs extra main line voyage cost to VOCPT.

VOCPT will earn 3.75 crore (Rs.37.5 million) from a mainline vessel call by Wan Hai after factoring in a 60 per cent discount in VRC extended to the service. The total benefit to VOCPT from five shortlisted mainline services is estimated to be 24 crore (Rs.240 million).

Logistics News

800-km stretch of dedicated freight corridor to be opened this year
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Aug 21 Top
The first phase, between Haryana and Rajasthan, will open this month Almost 800 km of the Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor is set to open this fiscal, with the remaining stretch of 1,500 km to be commissioned next year.

The project is only 50 per cent complete in terms of civil and electrical works, according to an official source. However, the "percentage progress" does not mean the project cannot be completed by next year, as a lot of time was taken for project preparation, the source said. Against its earlier plan to open the entire network at one go, the Railways has now decided to open it in phases.

The first phase of about 200 km - between Ateli (in Haryana's Mahendragarh district) and Phulera (near Jaipur) - will be opened later this month. It will use diesel engines, as the North Western Railway is not yet electrified.

Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd (DFCCIL), the infrastructure owner and manager, has handed over this set of tracks to the Railways, the operator. The Government's move to bring into effect the new land acquisition law had Railway officials in a quandary over the extent of compensation to be paid to each land-owner.

The total land acquisition cost also doubled to Rs. 16,000 crore (Rs.160 billion) from the initial estimate of Rs. 8,000 crore (Rs.80 billion) after the new law came into force. This prompted a tweak in the routes.

The initial plan was to build new tracks away from the existing ones. After the new Act came in, to rein in land costs and prevent disputes, the Railways decided to build the freight corridor closer to the existing tracks.

Though many of these tracks run through railway stations - which could cause further project delays - the plan on the whole reduced complications as a lot of land parcels were already owned by the Railways, and DFCCIL could bypass negotiations.

Removing the level crossings proved another major challenge as several locals were opposed to it. The Railways involved the local Governments to overcome this hurdle.

As it happens with most infrastructure projects, there were disputes on land acquisition, and with numerous contractors. "One of the big challenges was to ensure the bills were paid to contractors within the contract rules," said a source.

The cost of the project, conceptualised in 2006, rose from the estimated Rs. 28,000 crore (Rs.280 billion) to about Rs. 81,000 crore (Rs.810 billion), which was approved by the Cabinet.

The cost of funds from Japanese agency JICA and the World Bank also soared, effectively increasing the interest cost of loan repayment, which the Centre will have to bear.

National Logistics Portal to bring all on one platform
Exim News Service: New Delhi, Aug. 23 Top
A National Logistics Portal is being developed by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to ensure ease of trading in the international and domestic markets. The portal will link all the stakeholders of ex-im, domestic trade and movement, and all trade activities on a single platform.

It will be a single window online marketplace for trade and will connect business, create opportunities and bring together various Ministries, departments and the private sector. Stakeholders like traders, manufacturers, logistics service providers, infrastructure providers, financial services, government departments and groups and associations will all be on one platform.

The portal will be implemented in phases and will fulfil the commitment of the government of India to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India's performance in global rankings and pave the way for India to become a logistics hub, highlighted a release.

Warehouse leasing up 45% at 10 mn sq ft in first-half: CBRE
India Seatrade News: Aug 20 Top
Lease transactions in logistics and warehousing grew 45 per cent in the first half of this year to 10 million sq ft, driven by implementation of GST and grant of infrastructure status to the sector.

The demand was led by e-commerce, third party logistics, retail, and engineering and manufacturing sectors, real estate consulting firm CBRE said today. These sectors together accounted for more than 75 percent of the leasing reported during the period. This is a result of the policy reforms in the past two years, particularly the implementation of GST, as more and more companies have consolidated their operations and are locating warehouses closer to consumption hubs, driving demand, CBRE said in India Industrial and Logistics Market View, H1 2018.

The average size of the space take-up increased from around 75,000 sq ft during H1 2017 to close to 90,000 sq ft during the first half of this year. The overall demand for logistics and warehousing space was largely concentrated in Bengaluru (25 per cent), Delhi-NCR (21 per cent) and Mumbai (20 per cent). Chennai and Hyderabad also reported sizeable transaction activity and accounted for about 12 per cent and 10 per cent of the demand respectively.

Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, India and South East Asia, CBRE, said, "As the sector witnesses the use of technology, coupled with the government's reform push, corporates across all sectors would be driven to opt for large, modern warehouses. The entry of various private equity firms and foreign players in the Indian logistics market would boost quality supply, hence propelling demand." Cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Chennai would remain major investment destinations, with Delhi-NCR and Bangalore also being on the investors' radar, he added.

Commenting on the sector, Jasmine Singh, Senior Executive Director - Advisory & Transaction Services, India, CBRE said, "We foresee leasing activity to remain upbeat over the next six months, driven by the 3PL and e-commerce sectors. Initiatives such as the creation of a separate Logistics Department is a reiteration of the government's focus on the development of the sector. In addition, initiatives such as Make in India and relaxation of FDI norms have had a positive impact on investment sentiment in the country, leading to heightened business activity across the logistics sector."

The report further said that rentals continued to appreciate along several micro markets across the cities. The micro-markets of NH-6 in Kolkata and Bhiwandi in Mumbai reported the highest appreciation, ranging between 15 per cent and 24 per cent.

Meanwhile, other micro-markets such as NH-2 in Kolkata, the Northern Corridor in Hyderabad, the Southern Corridor in Bangalore, NH-1 in Delhi-NCR and Aslali in Ahmedabad reported a rental appreciation of 3-5 per cent on a half-yearly basis. The increase could be attributed to sustained occupier interest. Further, rentals across all other micro-markets in most of cities remained stable during the review period, except in Chennai's western belt, which witnessed a marginal 1-3 per cent decline.

On policy measures aiding economic growth, the logistics sector benefitted from the ablation of the short-term pain inflicted by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). The implementation of GST has also helped remove inter-state checkpoints and reduced the movement time of cargo, thereby, reducing sources of capital, the report, said. Adding to this, the grant of infrastructure status to the logistics and warehousing sector has also led to increased investor interest as it has helped developers gain access to infrastructure lending on easier terms with enhanced limits.

Concor to run trains with EXIM boxes to Kandla container terminal
The Hindu Business Line: Mumbai, August 21 Top
Container Corporation of India (Concor) will run regular or weekly trains between Kandla International Container Terminal (KICT) and its inland container depots (ICDs), according to a memorandum of understanding signed between the two sides on Tuesday.

Concor has been running trains between its ICD at Jodhpur and KICT carrying boxes meant for coastal movement since February. "With this agreement, the partnership has been extended to the export-import (EXIM) sphere as well, covering leading ICDs of Ludhiana, Tuglakabad, Khodiyar and Khanej, among many others," a KICT spokesman told BusinessLine.

KICT is a unit of Mumbai-based logistics firm JM Baxi Group.

"The container train services by Concor shall run regular or weekly between KICT and various ICDs with an assured arrangement of prompt reception by KICT of the incoming Concor trains at the rail yard from the serving station and returning to the serving station for onward movement with the import loads meant for various ICDs within 48 hours. This will now help the trade to book import shipments ex-Kandla to various ICDs and send export shipments from the hinterlands of India to different parts of the world," the KICT spokesman said. The MoU was signed by Sanjay Swarup, Director, International Marketing and Operations, Concor, in the presence of V Kalyana Rama, CMD of Concor, and Dhruv Kotak, Joint Managing Director, JM Baxi Group, on behalf of KICT.

KICT was awarded a concession by Deendayal Port Trust (formerly Kandla Port Trust) to develop, operate and maintain a 6 lakh TEU capacity a year container terminal at Berth Nos 11 and 12 at Deendayal Port Trust.

The terminal has a draft of 13 metres that can accommodate 65,000-75,000 DWT vessels. With a length of 545 metres, the berths are equipped with four rail mounted quay cranes, eight rubber-tyred gantry cranes, four reach stackers and 24 tractor trailers. The terminal has a backup area of 18.74 hectares.

The railway siding No 12 is the dedicated railway corridor to the container terminal for attracting rail-borne cargo.

Indian Port News

Ministry of Shipping upgrading India's Port capabilities
Daily Shipping Times: New Delhi, Aug 21 Top
The Ministry of Shipping, entrusted with the responsibility to formulate policies and programmes on shipping and ports sectors and their implementation, is presently focussing under Sagarmala programme on four main areas - Port Connectivity, Port Modernisation, Port-led Industrialisation and Development of the Communities along the ports, says Kailash K Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, Government of India.

The Ministry of Shipping has been undertaking a lot of initiatives for its development in Port Sector. The Ministry of Shipping under Sagarmala programme has undertaken a study for Port-led development to reduce logistic costs which are high in India compared to other countries. Taking cognizance of the developments in other countries and based on this comprehensive study, four focused areas have been identified wherein Ministry of Shipping has decided to put in the efforts.

These four areas are port connectivity, port modernisation, port-led industrialisation and development of the communities along the ports. Based on these themes, about 550 projects have already been identified, in consultation with ports, State Governments, Line Ministries and Industry.

Explaining on Sagarmala Project, which is basically an initiative to develop logistics sector performance and connectivity between ports, rail and road, Mr Aggarwal said, "We are firstly identifying the key areas as per the Sagarmala Project. Secondly, we are talking to various stakeholders to ensure these projects come up and thirdly, monitoring of these projects and trying to remove the hindrances in the implementation of these projects. This will lead to reduction of the logistics costs that will improve the productivity. Recently, Ministry has changed some policies leading to relaxation of cabotage and the initial response is very good. The key focus is to make sure that we are as competitive as the advanced countries of the world in port led development. There is a huge skill gap in the Port and Marine sector."

"To revive the strengths of the sector, many steps have been taken in this regard by the Ministry of Shipping. To fill the gaps of skilling, Ministry is working in convergence with Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDUGKY) of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. We have identified about 60 modules where specialised training in Maritime Sector has been decided to be implemented in convergence with DDUGKY. Secondly, a centre of excellence by the name of CEMS (Centre of Excellence for Marine Studies) to impart training in ship building and ship design sector has been developed and two such centres are coming up at Vizag and Mumbai. CEMS entails, investment of about Rs 800 crore (Rs.8 billion) and not only Indian students but students from neighbouring foreign countries are also likely to come and avail these opportunities. A centre at IIT Chennai has come up where studies and research on port related and inland water issues have been taken up to reduce dependence on foreign consultants and develop competency within India. Safety training for all the workers at Alang Ship Yard, which is one of the world's biggest ship-breaking yard is being ensured. Apart from that, for the development of port community, the Ministry of Shipping is funding the fishing harbours."

Highlighting the key steps to improvise the logistics sector's performance, the Jt. Secretary said, "We are focusing on ease-of-doing-business (EoDB). More than 24 areas have been identified for EoDB. The important parameters at a port for judging performance is the turnaround time (time taken by ship from time of entry to time of exit) and dwell time. For this purpose, paper work is being eliminated through IT tools along with scanning of cargo which prevents the physical examination, and setting up of testing laboratories in the port area. All these steps are taken to ensure logistics at the port area are sufficient enough so that people do not have to run to various agencies."

"Another focus area is development of Multi Modal Logistics Parks (MMLP). To reduce the customers' botherations, the ports are moving to hinterland to capture the cargo. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has taken lead and it is developing four Inland Container Depots (ICD) at Jalna, Wardha, Sangli and Nashik with the purpose to fetch the cargo near the origin point. It will reduce the logistics cost. Ports are also developing surplus land for the purpose of setting up industries in port area. The aim is that the units set up will be very near to port which will save logistics costs. Surplus land of ports will be used for generating revenue as well as industrial development." Commenting on Government's decision to disburse 194 projects worth Rs 72,000 crore (Rs.720 billion), and the sectors or components are expected to receive this fund , he said, "Focus is on Port modernisation, capacity enhancement of ports and connectivity to ports. The projects which are to be awarded are the related to these areas."

"The focus is also on mechanisation of ports, addition of new berths at ports, enhancing drafts at ports keeping the aspect of handling bigger ships at ports. Also there is emphasis on Coastal berths. In the perspective plan, it is revealed that the cost of logistics by rail is much higher compared to transport by water. So, the target is to increase the percentage of goods being transferred by water from 6 to 12 per cent."

"There is need to promote coastal shipping and for that, the Ministry of Shipping is partly funding the creation of new coastal berths. Currently, we are moving about 100 million tonnes of coastal cargo from one port to another in India. The emphasis is of Sagarmala programme to enhance coastal cargo substantially."

PSA's Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals increases service levels with nine more rubber tyre gantry cranes
India Seatrade News: Aug 24 Top
Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited ("BMCT"), a subsidiary of PSA International, has received nine Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes ("RTGs") on 3 August 2018, adding to its current fleet of 18 RTGs. An additional batch of nine RTGs are expected to arrive in early October 2018, bringing the total number of RTGs to 36.

Commissioning of the new RTGs is ongoing and the RTGs will be progressively ready for operations from end August 2018. With the latest arrivals, BMCT now has nine Quay Cranes and 27 RTGs to support the 1000 metres of contiguous quay length and four DFC ("Dedicated Freight Corridor") -enabled rail lines at the terminal.

The arrival of the new equipment coincides with the steady volume growth of BMCT. The terminal has handled over 150,000 TEUs to date, with productivity averaging in excess of 100 moves per vessel hour and reaching peaks of over 1 40 moves per hour.

Mr Sivakumar K, General Manager, BMCT commented on the new arrivals, "This new equipment underscores our commitment to be a game- changer to support the trade's requirements for premium service, flexibility and room to grow. To date, 11 different vessel operators have now called at BMCT and we look forward to welcoming new services in the future. We are also at an advanced planning stage of our Phase 2 development which will be completed by the end of 2022, doubling our capacity."