Samsara Newsletter

Week 35, 2018 (Aug 25 - Aug 31)

Policy & Economy News

India's GDP grows at 8.2 per cent in 2018-19 Q1

India to double exports by 2025: Suresh Prabhu

India can be one of world's blockchain leaders by 2023: PWC

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's textile & apparel exports jump 11% in July 2018

Commerce Minister urge traders to explore avenues in Kenya to boost exports

Shipping News

Fly ash being transported through inland waterways as a pilot project

ZIM announces significant upgrade of its independent India-Med Express Line

Logistics News

MoU signed for Indore-Manmad new railway line project

Railway Ministry plans 100 specially designed Stations & Terminals along Dedicated Freight Corridor

Indian Port News

VOC Port to attract more Foreign vessels after Cabotage relaxation

Nitin Gadkari lauds JNPT for its all-round growth & performance

Centre to fund upgradation and modernisation of Kakinada Port under Sagarmala

Chennai Port all set to berth VLCC

Customs implements Electronic Cargo Tracking System for Nepal-bound containers at VCT

More Major Ports cutting dwell times via efficiency programs like DPD & DPE

Policy & Economy News

India's GDP grows at 8.2 per cent in 2018-19 Q1
Economic Times - Aug 31 Top
India's economy grew at an impressive 8.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018-19 financial year ending June 30 on the back of a strong core performance and a healthy base.

This jump ahead of national elections next year would help bolster the government amid a debate over its economic record versus that of its predecessor following the release of back-series data recently. This will also be factored in by the monetary policy committee at its next review scheduled for October 3-5.

The Indian government changed the base year for GDP calculation from 2004-05 to 2011-12, by changing the goods and services in the basket to make it more current, in 2015.

The official figures are much better than the expectations of economists who have predicted about 7.5-7.6 per cent Q1 growth.

The world's second largest economy, China, reported a 6.7 per cent growth for June quarter compared with 6.8 per cent in March quarter. India's $2.6 trillion economy surpassed France's in 2017 to be the world's sixth largest, and it was not far before the United Kingdom, according to World Bank data.

However despite the strong Q1 numbers, there is apprehension about the economy slowing down in the coming times.

Sameer Narang, chief economist at Bank of Baroda, told Reuters that the economic growth could cool to about 7.2 percent in October-March.

The Reserve Bank of India has raised its benchmark repo rate by a total of 50 basis points at its past two meetings, to 6.5 percent, to tame inflation that has remained above its medium-term target of 4 percent for the last nine months.

In July, retail inflation eased to 4.17 percent from a year earlier, but is projected to remain around 4.8 percent in the second half of the fiscal year.

The rupee has weakened nearly 10 percent against the dollar this year, touching a record low of 71 to the dollar on Thursday, and is the worst performing currency in Asia.

Credit ratings agency Moody's has warned about rising pressure of higher oil prices and interest rates on government finances and India's current account.

Earlier today, government data showed a fiscal deficit of Rs 5.40 lakh crore (Rs.5.4 trillion) for April-July, or 86.5 percent of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year compared with 92.4 percent a year earlier.

India to double exports by 2025: Suresh Prabhu
Exim News Service: New Delhi, Aug. 27
Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation today chaired a meeting of different exports stakeholders and Commerce Ministry officers to discuss a strategy for revitalising India's exports and doubling the country's exports by 2025. The Minister said that this is necessary in view of challenges like uncertainty of global trade, rigid approach of banks affecting availability of credit, high logistics cost and productivity standards and qualities. Exports create jobs, bring in foreign exchange and validate India's international competitiveness. The Minister of State, Mr C. R. Chaudhary, will be the chairperson of this mission and will regularly review the work of different export promotion councils and divisions of the Ministry of Commerce.

The Commerce Minister has already held two meetings with key Ministries for preparing sectoral export strategies which are being finalised. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has done a study identifying $100 billion exports in traditional, new markets and products. Ex-im has conducted market research and draft export strategy is being prepared.

India had acceded to WTO's TFA (Trade Facilitation Agreement) in April 2016 and action plan containing specific activities to further ease out the bottlenecks to trade has been prepared. To facilitate transparency through Ease of Doing Business and IT initiatives, DGFT and SEZ have been online integrated with Customs ICEGATE and mandatory documents required for exports and imports have been reduced to 3 each. Import Export Code (IEC) has been integrated with PAN and MoU signed with GSTN for complete integration. Electronic bank realisation certificate (eBRC) system has been shared with 14 state governments for quick tax refunds and MoU signed with GST Network for integration of e-BRC with GSTN. State governments have been provided access to DGCI&S export data in real time.

Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of Department of Commerce to give focused attention to 12 identified Champion Services Sectors for promoting their development, and realising their potential. Mr Suresh Prabhu emphasised that special strategy is being prepared for the services sector in order to achieve broad-based growth instead of the existing pre-dominance of IT-ITeS, diversification of services exports across geographical territories, sensitisation of the states to formulate new structures, policies and action plans for services sector and promotion of India as a services hub. The Agricultural Export Policy is in the process of being finalised, after incorporating stakeholders' comments.

Commodity and territory specific strategy is also being prepared for items like gems and jewellery, leather, textile and apparel, engineering sector, electronics, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharma, agri and allied products and marine products. Territory specific strategy will cover North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Europe, North East Asia, ASEAN, South Asia, Latin America, Africa and WANA, Australia, New Zealand, and CIS.

The Commerce Minister said that apart from traditional markets India must also look at boosting trade with smaller countries and explore new territories like Africa which has 54 countries but accounts for only 8 per cent of exports from India. The Minister exhorted exporters to not miss the opportunity presented by China's consumer market and make the most of the world's mega import expo being held in China in November 2018, said a release.

India can be one of world's blockchain leaders by 2023: PWC
Daily Shipping Times - Mumbai, Aug 30
It is indeed possible for India to be in the leadership ranks of blockchain in the next five years, with the right amount of Industry and Government participation

With the right amount of Industry and Government participation, India could be in leadership ranks in adoption of blockchain technology in the next five years, says a survey by global consultancy firm PwC.

A blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that stores information across multiple systems securely to enable peer-to-peer transactions by creating a trustworthy source.

PwC said that a quarter of executives surveyed mention about a blockchain implementation pilot in progress (10 per cent) or fully live (15 per cent). Almost a third (32 per cent) have projects in development and a fifth (20 per cent) are in research mode.

The US (29 per cent), China (18 per cent), Australia (7 per cent) are perceived as the most advanced currently in developing blockchain projects.

The study surveyed 600 executives in 15 countries and territories, on their development of blockchain and views on its potential.

Success of blockchain adoption will depend on the ability of the proponents /network to increase trust amongst themselves on the assets they transact on, said Sreeram Ananthasayanam, Partner, PwC India.

"The approach for India is no different - and it is indeed possible for India to be in the leadership ranks of blockchain in the next five years, with the right amount of Industry and Government participation," he said.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's textile & apparel exports jump 11% in July 2018
Daily Shipping Times -New Delhi, Aug 28 Top
Exports of textiles and apparel from India have increased by 11 per cent in July 2018 to Rs. 19,636 crore (Rs.196.36 billion) compared to exports of Rs. 17,692 crore (Rs.176.92 billion) in the same period of last year, Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) has said quoting data from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), under the Ministry of Commerce.

Segment-wise, textiles exports increased by 15 per cent to Rs. 10,879 crore (Rs.108.79 billion) in July 2018 over Rs. 9,429 crore (Rs.94.29 billion) in the same month of the previous year. Apparel exports grew 6 per cent to Rs. 8,757 crore (Rs.87.57 billion) from Rs.8,263 crore (Rs.82.63 billion) in July 2017, the data showed.

"With continuous support from the Government with a slew of measures on all fronts there has been increase in exports of textiles and apparel from India," said CITI Chairman Sanjay K Jain. He added that overall growth in exports during Apr-July 2018 has been 3 per cent vis-a-vis same period last year.

Further, the MMF segment, which is expected to be the growth driver of the industry in the coming years has seen increase in production. While the imports of textile and clothing have increased from $1.78 billion in April-June 2017 to $1.87 billion in the same period this year, an increase of 5 per cent, which is significantly lower than the growth of 16 per cent last year.

"The measures taken by the Government to increase the import duty on various textile and apparel items will help in further reducing the imports in coming months," said Jain in a CITI press release.

He also highlighted that as per RBI Financial Stability Report-June 2018, the stressed advance ratio of textile subsector has also improved from 23.7 per cent in September 2017 to 22.3 per cent in March 2018, indicating signs of recovery.

"The continuous support from the Government is expected to put the industry back on track and we anticipate the textile and apparel exports to grow by 7 per cent while imports to stay flat in fiscal 2018-19," said Jain.

Commerce Minister urge traders to explore avenues in Kenya to boost exports
Daily Shipping Times -New Delhi, Aug 29 Top
India explored opportunities to increase exports of petroleum products, cars and motorcycles, and mobile phones to Kenya during the joint trade committee meeting of the two countries. The Eighth Session of the India-Kenya Joint Trade Committee Meeting was held in Nairobi recently, the Capital city of the African nation.

India is the second largest investor in Kenya according to KenInvest. The bilateral trade was valued at USD 2.05 billion in 2017-18.

"We are keen to explore new opportunities in logistics, agriculture, energy, pharma and many other sectors with Kenya," Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet.

According to the sources, India has identified petroleum products (medium and light oils); medicaments for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes; motor vehicles/cars/motorcycles and products of iron and steel, as potential products to increase its exports to Kenya.

In 2017-18 India's top items of exports were petroleum products, drug formulations, biological, industrial machinery, paper, iron and steel, plastic raw materials, manmade yarn, fabrics madeups, and electric machinery, among others.

The joint trade committee meeting has taken place against the background of India's exports to Kenya dropping to USD 1.97 billion in 2017-18 from from USD 4.11 billion in 2014-15. India's imports from Kenya too slowed down from USD 117.42 million to USD 72.57 million during the same period.

Shipping News

Fly ash being transported through inland waterways as a pilot project
Exim News Service: New Delhi, Aug. 26
To increase fly ash utilisation, NTPC along with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and Ministry of Shipping have been exploring the possibility of transporting fly ash through inland waterways from NTPC, Kahalgaon.

Sustainable fly ash utilisation is a key initiative at NTPC. There is a huge demand for fly ash but due to the limitations of transporting it only through rail, not enough can be utilised.

Now, transportation of fly ash through inland waterways has commenced as a pilot project from NTPC, Kahalgaon to Pandu (in Assam) for use in cement manufacturing. For this project, first mile activity of bagging and loading the fly ash into barges will be done by NTPC and the cost of transportation will be taken care of by IWAI and Star Cement, said a release.

The first load of fly ash has already been loaded by NTPC, Kahalgaon after IWAI moved its barges from Kolkata to Kahalgaon. Two barge vessels of 1,000 tonnes capacity each reached Kahalgaon a few days back and were scheduled to go to Pandu port through National Waterway and via the Indo-Bangla Protocol route.

Fly ash is being regularly transported in 40 kg bags through rail wagons to cement plants located in North-East states from NTPC, Kahalgaon. There is a huge demand for fly ash in this region, but due to limited availability of railway rakes and route congestion, only 15-22 rakes per month are being despatched from the plant as against the potential of about 30 rakes per month. This initiative shall enhance and give impetus to the utilisation of fly ash, the release added.

ZIM announces significant upgrade of its independent India-Med Express Line
Exim News Service: Haifa, Aug. 29 Top
ZIM has announced that starting September 2018, the ZIM India-Med Express Line (IMX) will have a new rotation, with significantly faster transit time, making the fastest on the trade.

In order to improve its service to customers and cater to market needs, ZIM will introduce changes to the IMX service as follows: the line will operate 5 vessels, and the round-trip will be shortened to 35 days. The new rotation will commence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, followed by Nhava Sheva and Mundra, followed by East Mediterranean ports. Transit time to East Med ports will be reduced significantly, in some ports by a week to 10 days, highlighted a release.

Rani Ben-Yehuda, ZIM's EVP Cross Suez and Atlantic BU, said: "ZIM now offers the fastest and most reliable service between the Indian Subcontinent and the Eastern Mediterranean. We continue to upgrade and improve our services as part of ZIM vision and our customer-oriented approach."

Logistics News

MoU signed for Indore-Manmad new railway line project
Exim News Service - New Delhi, Aug. 28 Top
To reduce logistics cost for connecting JNPT & Mumbai gateways An MoU was signed on Tuesday between JNPT-Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Railways, government of Maharashtra and government of Madhya Pradesh for implementation of 362 km Indore-Manmad New Railway Line Project. The project will reduce the distance from Mumbai/Pune to key central India locations by 171 km.

Present at the signing were Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, and Mr Neeraj Bansal, IAS, Chairman-in-Charge of JNPT, among others.

The project passes through the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor nodes Igatpuri, Nashik and Sinnar; Pune and Khed; and Dhule and Nardana.

The project, costing Rs 8,574.79 crore (Rs.85.74 billion), is estimated to result in cumulative net economic benefits of Rs 15,000 crore (Rs.150 billion) in the first ten years of operations. Its logistics advantages include providing a shorter route for passenger as well as the freight traffic originating from/terminating or crossing through the region. The project will reduce the logistics cost for the cargo centres located in Northern India such as Lucknow, Agra, Gwalior and Kanpur belt as well as Indore - Dhule - Bhopal region to the gateway ports JNPT and Mumbai. It will be an alternate route to the existing central and western railway lines and will reduce congestion on the over utilised existing railway network. In addition, it will help in employment generation, reduction in pollution, fuel consumption and vehicle operating costs.

The Indian Port Rail Corporation Ltd (IPRCL) carried out the feasibility, traffic and bankability for the project. Railway Board approved the implementation of the project through IPRCL on joint venture SPV model. The proposed SPV would be in the form of a joint venture company between Ministry of Shipping or its nominated PSUs/Entity, including JNPT (which will be the main promoter), government of Maharashtra or its nominated PSUs/Entity, government of Madhya Pradesh or its nominated PSUs/Entity, and others. The equity participation would be in the ratio as shown in the table.

Project Stakeholders

Equity Share

MoS or its nominated PSUs/Entity including JNPT, which will be the main promoter.


GoM or its nominated PSUs/Entity


GoMP or its nominated PSUs/Entity


Others (IPRCL, SDC, etc.)


The project will be constructed within six years, said a release.

Railway Ministry plans 100 specially designed Stations & Terminals along Dedicated Freight Corridor
Daily Shipping Times -New Delhi, Aug 29 Top
The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation is gearing up to set up more than 100 railway stations and terminals - all of them "specially designed" - along the 3,360-km-long, much-delayed network linking the Eastern and Western seaboards to the Northern heartland.

Besides, the dedicated freight corridor, known as DFC, will have as many as 12 private freight terminals, 15 private sidings and 10 goods sheds to cater to over 300 million tonnes of traffic a year from 2020-21.

Designs of these new DFC buildings will be influenced by local culture and architecture so that they become iconic structures of the area's skyline, a senior official of the Corporation said.

"Special care has been taken that all the station buildings reflect the heritage of the region," the official said recently.

Passing through nine States and 60 districts, the Rs 81,459 crore (Rs.814.59 billion) project will have 48 stations and junctions along the Western DFC and 58 in the Eastern DFC.

While the Western DFC will cover 1,504 km from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust near Navi Mumbai to Dadri in Uttar Pradesh, traversing through Vadodara-Ahmedabad-Palanpur-Phulera-Rewari, the Eastern DFC covers 1,856 km from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni, near Kolkata in West Bengal, and will traverse the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

"Many private players have shown interest to build Multi-Modal Logistics Parks and Terminals along the corridor to facilitate value addition - including packaging, labelling, retailing and transportation of goods on the dedicated route," the official said.

All the newly-designed station buildings are expected to be ready before the corridor becomes operational in 2020-21. There is a focus on station buildings as economic activities get a boost around the rail stations and terminals.

The Western DFC - a section of which (between Ateli in Haryana and Phulera in Rajasthan) opened for a trial run on August 15 - is expected to largely carry petroleum products, imported fertilisers and coal besides steel and iron among others in double-stack containers.

According to initial estimate, Western DFC will carry about 152.24 milliion tonnes (MT) of goods in 2020-21. The Eastern DFC aims to speed up the movement of coal, cement, fertilisers, foodgrain and general goods, among others. The expected traffic on the Eastern DFC is 153.23 MT in 2020-21.

Also, in a first for Indian Railways, there will be a time table for freight trains once the DFCs are operational.

Indian Port News

VOC Port to attract more Foreign vessels after Cabotage relaxation
Daily Shipping Times -Mumbai, Aug 27 Top
Taiwan's Wan Hai Lines 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 containers for transshipment and empty containers for repositioning on local routes.

Proposal approved

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 Rs. 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 Rs. 24 crore (Rs.240 million).

Nitin Gadkari lauds JNPT for its all-round growth & performance
Exim News Service: Navi Mumbai, Aug. 27 Top
Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JN Port), the country's premier port, has achieved substantial growth over the last four years. It is poised to scale new heights in the coming years with the execution of many infrastructure projects, said Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways.

He was speaking to reporters after the performance review of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) for the first 5 months of the current financial year. Earlier, he was welcomed to the port by Mr Neeraj Bansal, IAS, Chairman-in-Charge, JNPT.

"JNPT is consistently posting impressive performance in the last few years. I am very happy that implementation of various performance initiatives and infrastructure projects to increase efficiency is making good progress. This gives me assurance that JNPT will continue to hold its premier position and also transform itself into a business and growth hub for the region," Mr Gadkari said.

He expressed confidence that the port would meet its target of 1 crore (10 million) container handling capacity by 2022. He also applauded the profit growth of 16 per cent achieved last year.

Highlighting the development of dry ports at Wardha, Jalna, Nashik and Sangli, which will promote hinterland cargo, he mentioned that the work is in progress and JNPT is also working towards additional revenue generation of over Rs 300 crore (Rs.3 billion) per year through various new projects. Speaking of the SEZ, he said that 6 plots have been allotted with investment of Rs 170 crore (Rs.1.7 billion), which is expected to generate 2,500 jobs for the locals. The other 9 plots and FTWZ are under auction. He also expected 80 per cent of the SEZ land to be allotted by November 2018.

Mr Gadkari disclosed that with the aim of further reducing traffic congestion, IIT Bombay is conducting a study to find more solutions. Additionally, construction work valued at Rs 10 crore (Rs.100 million) is underway to develop and improve the road infrastructure.

The Minister also made a special mention of JNPT employees, who contributed Rs 35 lakh (Rs.3.5 million) towards Kerala flood relief, informed a release.

Centre to fund upgradation and modernisation of Kakinada Port under Sagarmala
Daily Shipping Times - New Delhi, Aug 28 Top
The Centre will fund the upgradation and modernisation of the Kakinada Anchorage Port - currently run by the Andhra Pradesh Government - under the Sagarmala programme. This comes after efforts to build a port at Dugarajapatnam in AP's Nellore district did not make any headway.

Sagarmala Development Company Limited has called for bids from consultancy firms to write a detailed project report to upgrade and modernise the facilities at the Kakinada Anchorage Port, a Shipping Ministry official said.

Kakinada already has a deep-water port run by privately held Kakinada Seaports Ltd, while a greenfield commercial port is being built by the GMR Group at Kona village in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district to cater to its own Kakinada Special Economic Zone as well as for third parties. The Anchorage Port, with a century-old history, was set up as a key facility on the Eastern seaboard to handle 4 million tonnes (mt) of cargo a year. It is the main gateway port for the rich agriculture belt of East and West Godavari and Krishna Districts of Andhra Pradesh

In spite of the low mechanisation of facilities, the Anchorage Port has been a major revenue earner among AP's ports, handling export commodities such as rice, maize and cement while edible oils are imported through the port.

Chennai Port all set to berth VLCC
Exim News Service - Chennai, Aug. 28 Top
The Chennai Port is all set to create another record in its 137 years of service to the maritime trade of the country when it berths a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) vessel on August 31, 2018, in its continuous endeavour to provide efficient service to meet the requirements of the Port users and the trade. The berthing of a big ship like VLCC in an alongside berth inside an enclosed harbour will be the first ever of its kind in an Indian port and by berthing the vessel, the Chennai Port will be the first among the ports of India to have such remarkable achievement.

The vessel, m.t. New Diamond of 1,60,079 GRT, chartered by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd on account of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which left the Basra oil terminal on August 19, 2018 with 1,33,719 metric tonnes of Basra light crude oil is likely to arrive at Chennai Port at 2130 hrs on August 30, 2018 and will be berthed along side in the oil docks of Chennai Port on August 31, 2018. Navigation of such a bigger vessel inside breakwaters is a challenging task and requires professional acumen and sufficient towage support. The Marine Department of Chennai Port has made all arrangements for berthing the vessel with high powered tugs and the professionally-trained pilots of the Port will be engaged for safe navigation and berthing of the vessel. The Chennai Port is presently handling Suezmax oil tankers up to 1,50,000 DWT and the berthing of the VLCC will facilitate CPCL in improving the economies of scale by optimisation of expenditure. The officials of Chennai Port and CPCL are in close coordination for planning various operational requirements for the successful berthing of the VLCC at Chennai Port, said a release.

Customs implements Electronic Cargo Tracking System for Nepal-bound containers at VCT
Exim News Service: Visakhapatnam, Aug. 29 Top
First rake with boxes having ECTS seal flagged off Visakhapatnam Customs has recently implemented the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) for Nepal-bound containers via the Visakha Container Terminal (VCT). Under this modality, import containers bound for Nepal will be affixed with an ECTS seal as against the conventional One Time Bottle (OTB) seal which is fixed now. The new procedure is much simplified as against the long processes of documentation which are currently followed, that results in delay in moving containers from the terminal.

With this new process, Container Transhipment Approval Order will be generated in the ICES system, similar to the Transhipment Permits issued to other ICDs, making it a paperless documentation.

The first rake, to ICD Birgunj, Nepal, with containers having ECTS seal was flagged off in the early hours of August 28, 2018 at the terminal, jointly by Dr D. K. Srinivas, Commissioner of Customs, Mr Mukul Saran Mathur, Divisional Railway Manager, and Mr Haranadh, Deputy Chairman, VPT, said a release.

More Major Ports cutting dwell times via efficiency programs like DPD & DPE
Daily Shipping Times -Mumbai, Aug 30 Top
India's efforts to replicate the success Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) achieved with its two, key supply chain reforms - Direct Port Delivery (DPD) and Direct Port Entry (DPE) - at other, smaller ports appears to have worked to a considerable degree.

Conceptually and in objective, DPD and DPE are akin to each other - speed up cargo flows, reduce cargo dwell times, and decrease logistics costs. Under DPD, pre-approved importers can clear their cargo directly from the wharf within 48 hours of landing at the port, whereas DPE allows shippers to gate-in their factory-stuffed goods without the otherwise mandatory "let export order" issued by customs.

Other ports see shipper demand for DPD, DPE

A new JOC study reveals that besides reform frontrunner JNPT, the ports of Chennai, Kolkata, Haldia, Tuticorin (V.O. Chidambaranar), Cochin, Visakhapatnam, and New Mangalore have been able to generate considerable shippers' interest toward these Ease of Doing Business programs, following intense Government pressure to increase productivity.

The April-to-July DPD percentage at top performers among these ports is as follows: Haldia, 55.64 percent; Chennai, 46.3 percent; Kolkata, 37.12 percent; Cochin, 20 percent; and Visakhapatnam, 14.3 percent.

The DPE performance at these locales during the same period is as follows: Haldia, 100 percent; Cochin, 93 percent; Kolkata, 89.39 percent; Visakhapatnam, 54 percent; and Tuticorin, 6 percent, according to data collected by from Government sources.

JNPT, which handles the majority of India's container freight, transacted 39 percent of its import discharges, or 219,914 TEU, out of 563,847 TEU of laden imports, via DPD during the above period. The DPE percentage at port-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal, for which data are currently available, was 80 percent during April-July, data show. JNPT also encompasses APM Terminals' Gateway Terminals India, two facilities operated by DP World, and PSA International's Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals, which opened in February.

Dominant, privately operated, Minor Ports - such as Mundra, Pipavav, and Krishnapatnam - also have lately implemented these Ease of Doing Business measures to offer intended benefits to exporter/importers and increase productivity rates.

Business model ramifications for 3PLs

At the same time, that rapid, nationwide adoption of reforms is sending shudders through the port-based, third-party logistics (3PLs) sector, as supply chain intermediaries have steadily lost ground and almost become a redundant variable regarding cargo storage and customs clearance services.

To get around those challenges, some of the leading 3PLs have strategically extended their logistics reach to emerging locations and also realigned their operations in tandem with changing market dynamics. As a result, Gateway Distriparks Ltd., which operates the largest container freight station (CFS) site at JNPT, booked respectable growth in the first fiscal quarter through the end of June, after previous declines.

"We have had growth in volume and capacity utilization levels across the group while facing increased competition. The CFS business crossed 110,000 TEUs in the quarter, adapting well to the Direct Port Delivery [DPD] scenario," Gateway stated.

Although that alternative, sustainable approach appears to provide a silver lining for larger players with multiple logistics locations and diversified offerings, 3PLs operating essentially on a single-port market basis are generally facing perilous times, in a substantially changed market that features more competitors.