Samsara Newsletter

Week 49, 2018 (Dec 1 - Dec 7)

Policy & Economy News

India registers double-digit containerised trade growth in Q3 2018: Report

Government mulling to change Customs duty architecture to boost Trade, Ease of Doing Business

Business News - The India Boom Factor

Currency swap pact between India, UAE to help boost trade, investments

Cabinet clears agri export policy to take shipments to USD 60 bn by 2022

Shipping News

SCI resuming service from Chennai to Port Blair

OOCL to extend East Mediterranean service network to the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent through EM3 service

Kolkata-Patna becomes India's second container cargo sector on inland waterways

Logistics News

Hyundai cars moved to Chennai Port by rail

APM Terminals Pipavav & ICD Kanpur now connected by rail

Global investors bullish on Indian Logistics sector : PWC

Indian Port News

VCT continuously enhancing productivity & efficiency

BMCT achieves new productivity benchmark & develops closer customer links

Policy & Economy News

India registers double-digit containerised trade growth in Q3 2018: Report
Exim News Service - MUMBAI, Dec. 3 Top
* 10 pc export growth, 9 pc import growth

* Competitive pricing drives onion exports growth by 15 pc*

* 20 pc* growth in shrimp exports from India

* Cement exports rise as global infrastructure industry gains momentum

* Major turnaround in exports from West India, while East India experiences rapid import growth

India's containerised trade with the world has grown 10 per cent year-on-year according to the Q3 2018 trade report released by Maersk, the world's largest container shipping company. Increasing competitiveness of Indian exports, coupled with improved demand in various destination countries, has propelled exports to grow at 10 per cent year-on-year. The demand for India-made goods such as vehicles and mechanical appliances; as well as refrigerated cargo such as onions, meat, seafood and pharmaceuticals have driven exports. Simultaneously, imports have risen 9 per cent year-on-year, largely dominated by a heavy inflow of paper, metal and white goods. Overall, the containerised market has displayed strength, with far less fluctuation compared to the previous year

Commenting on the healthy containerised growth, Mr Steve Felder, Managing Director for Maersk Line - South Asia, said, "The upward movement in global commodity prices, depreciation of the Indian rupee and recent major shipping-logistics reforms such as liberalised cabotage policy and Direct Port Delivery are instrumental in supporting the export-import trade between India and global markets. With fast growing trade figures that are significantly higher than the estimated global containerised demand growth (which in fact slowed during Q3), coupled with strategic competitive pricing, India is emerging as a favourable trade destination for both advanced and emerging markets."

The United States, the United Arab Emirates and Nigeria have become significant export destinations for exporters from West India. While the exports from West India witnessed a contraction of 15 per cent in Q3 2017, the exports increased by 10 per cent* year-on-year in Q3 2018 on the back of high volume exports of India-made automobiles and machinery. On the opposite end of the country, rising demand for chemicals, metals, machinery and white goods have been driving import growth at 9 per cent year-on-year for East India. Countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and South Korea have been the leading import origins for this growing region.

In terms of commodity trade, the high demand for pharmaceuticals, vehicles, metals and seafood have driven the import-export trade in international markets. The Indian pharma sector witnessed high export growth to North American nations in Q3 2018, doubling in volume. Strong demand from regions of Latin America, Africa and surrounding countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have pushed exports of India-made vehicles to grow 36 per cent* year-on-year. Metal imports have increased 33 per cent* year-on-year, on the back of metal scrap driving this growth into the North and West regions of India.

With an eye on the upcoming year, Mr Felder said: "Although the sector is looking at maintaining strong growth in the coming year, the logistics infrastructure-which is the backbone of the industry-needs to be strengthened simultaneously. The government is aligned to this objective, as we have witnessed a cluster of initiatives towards making India a global superpower, including-amongst others-the 'Make in India' campaign. The efforts to create a more pro-business, investor-friendly environment are clearly visible as the economy recently advanced 23 spots to rank 77th in the World Bank's latest 'Ease of Doing Business' index. As the industry foresees and awaits the benefits of cabotage relaxation and streamlining of exporters' GST refunds, digitisation and blockchain technology in the supply chain infrastructure is set to transform the logistics industry in the coming years."

Government mulling to change Customs duty architecture to boost Trade, Ease of Doing Business
Daily Shipping Times - New Delhi, December 4 Top
After rolling out the most comprehensive indirect tax reform - the goods and services tax - the Narendra Modi-led NDA Government is set to unleash the next generation of changes to the customs duty architecture to speed up India's trade and improve the Ease of Doing Business.

The proposed changes seek to do away with face-to-face contact with tax officials, automate the release of goods and ensure e-traceability of shipments, measures that can substantially reduce corruption and allow faster movement of merchandise.

"We want to go in for something which will be radically different from what we have been doing. We are going to venture into a new territory called faceless assessment... We could start a pilot in a month's time," Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs Chairman S Ramesh said recently. Ramesh, who took over as Chairman in June, said the idea is to work towards getting into the top 50 ranking of the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business. In the 'trading across borders' category, India leapt to 80th rank from 146th.

Faceless Interface

Elaborating on the proposed 'faceless' assessment, Ramesh said the board will soon initiate discussions with the trade and examine if any legal or statutory changes would be required. He said the ideal situation would be that goods landing in Nhava Sheva (Mumbai) can be assessed in Chennai and shipments in one category, say motorcars, can be assessed at one location, allowing development of specialisation and expertise.

"This is where the world is going. This is one of the best practices of the World Customs Organisation. Scope for rent seeking will absolutely vanish and speed of clearance will go up manifold," he said.

Ease of Doing Business

Ramesh said internal brainstorming is going on to see how India can take the next quantum leap in the Doing Business ranking. "Virtual groups have been formed. We feel we need to build upon what has been done," he said, adding that the customs proposes to expand the E-Sanchit facility, which allows importers to upload all documents online, to exporters.

It plans to bring export promotion councils and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on board the customs portal to make the whole experience seamless and paperless for exporters in the next two to three months. Ramesh said that as part of the national trade facilitation programme, the Cabinet Secretary has written to ports to streamline their infrastructure for smooth and speedier cargo movement. Port IT systems are being integrated with the customs portal.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

Currency swap pact between India, UAE to help boost trade, investments
Daily Shipping Times -New Delhi, December 7 Top
Signing of currency swap agreement between India and the UAE will help in boosting trade and investments between the two countries, a Commerce and Industry Ministry official said recently. With this arrangement, the two countries allow trading in their own currency and payments to import and export trade at pre-determined exchange rate without bringing in a third benchmark currency like the US dollar, the official added.

The idea for the agreement was first mooted by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and it was discussed at length in the sixth meeting of the UAE - India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments held in Mumbai in October. The Commerce Ministry was continuously pursuing the matter with the UAE authorities.

The Ministry has also established a special UAE desk to facilitate investments and resolve issues relating to UAE Investments in India. The pact will further boost bilateral trade and investments between the countries, the official added.

The bilateral trade stood at USD 50 billion in 2017-18. India has attracted USD one billion in FDI (foreign direct investment) during that fiscal.

Cabinet clears agri export policy to take shipments to USD 60 bn by 2022
Press Trust of India -New Delhi, December 7 Top
Seeking to double agricultural export to USD 60 billion by 2022, the Union Cabinet Thursday approved a maiden export policy for the farm sector that imposes no restrictions on export of all organic and processed products.

However, export policy for primary agricultural products, like onion, would reviewed periodically on a case-to-case basis depending on price-supply situation, said Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu after the Cabinet meet.

"The policy aims at doubling agricultural shipments to over USD 60 billion by 2022," he said, adding that achieving the target was "doable".

He said the farm exports have grown by 20 per cent in a year.

Agricultural exports are currently estimated at USD 30 billion.

Prabhu said there was a time when India used to import agricultural products, but now it is exporting in a big way.

He rued India had no export policy for agri products despite a major producer.

Prabhu said the first ever 'Agriculture Export Policy, 2018' would help the government in achieving the target of doubling farmers' income.

The policy aims to boost exports of agriculture commodities such as tea, coffee and rice and increase the country's share in global agri-trade.

The policy would focus on all aspects of agricultural exports including modernising infrastructure, standardisation of products, streamlining regulations, curtailing knee-jerk decisions, and focusing on research and development activities.

It will also seek to remove all kinds of export restrictions on organic products, the minister added.

The implementation of the policy will have an estimated financial implication of over Rs 1,400 crore (Rs.14 billion).

As per an official release, the objective of the policy is to diversify export basket, destinations and boost high value and value added agricultural exports.

It will also provide an institutional mechanism for pursuing market access, tackling barriers and deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues.

Other objectives of the policy is to strive to double India's share in world agri exports by integrating with global value chain at the earliest and enable farmers to get benefit of export opportunities in overseas market.

Prabhu said the policy has arrived at after consultation with state governments. He said states have also agreed to remove 'mandi tax' and reforms in Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) norms.

To operationalise the policy, the government would focus on creating agri clusters, promote value added shipments, attract private investment and infrastructure development.

Shipping News

SCI resuming service from Chennai to Port Blair
Exim News Service - Chennai December 3 Top
The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) had to suspend Chennai-Port Blair services due to the vessel having technical issues that were not rectified in time in order to give a seamless service to the trade that SCI is known for.

It stressed in a release that the National Carrier is committed to this service with the intention of providing an efficient and seamless service to the local trade and in the interest of the islanders. It has therefore fixed a 350-TEU combination carrier, mv MCP Linz, capable of carrying both GP and reefer containers as well as break-bulk.

The vessel is expected to arrive in Chennai on December 4, 2018 and sail, after loading the first consignment, by December 5 or 6. The vessel will be performing voyages between Chennai and Port Blair with a round voyage of 8 days, said a release.

OOCL to extend East Mediterranean service network to the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent through EM3 service
Exim News Service - Hong Kong, December 5 Top
OOCL has announced that it will be extending its East Mediterranean service network to the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent by introducing the new Middle East/Indian Subcontinent - East Mediterranean Service (EM3) to be launched in January 2019.

The EM3 provides direct linkage between the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, offering more competitive and reliable services than transhipment options. It also provides fast transit times to Egypt and Turkey, highlighted a release.

EM3 port rotation: Hamad - Jubail - Jebel Ali - Mundra - Nhava Sheva - Colombo - Port Said West - Mersin - Piraeus - Istanbul - Mersin - Iskenderun - Jebel Ali - Abu Dhabi - Hamad

In addition, the strategic hub in Jebel Ali will allow the line to further connect its services to various OOCL networks in the region, thus offering exceptional flexibility and more shipping options to customers, the release said.

Westbound effective voyage: MSC ATHOS, Voyage 006W, ETA Hamad on January 7, 2019

Eastbound effective voyage: MSC MAXINE, Voyage 001E, ETA Piraeus on January 12, 2019

Kolkata-Patna becomes India's second container cargo sector on inland waterways
Exim News Service - New Delhi, December 6 Top
After the success of container cargo being shipped from Kolkata to Varanasi earlier this year, Bihar's capital Patna will be witness to a new landmark in India's Inland Water Transport (IWT) sector with 16 TEUs of container cargo (equivalent to 16 truckloads) belonging to food giants PepsiCo India and Emami Agrotech Ltd from Kolkata reaching the city's Gaighat IWT terminal on river Ganga next week.

Inland Waterways Authority of India's (IWAI) vessel MV RN Tagore sailed from Kolkata's Garden Reach Jetty on December 6 with the PepsiCo and Emami Agrotech products. It will reach the IWT terminal at Patna in 6-7 days after an 815 km long voyage on river Ganga (National Waterway-1). The cargo will be unloaded at IWAI's inter-modal terminal at Gaighat in Patna from where onward cargo will be loaded. Earlier, on November 12, 2018, the Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, had received the country's first IWT containerised cargo that reached Varanasi from Kolkata.

Kolkata-Patna is India's new IWT origin-destination pair for containerised cargo movement on the National Waterway-1. Plans are at an advanced stage to operationalise Patna-Varanasi sector of NW-1 for container cargo movement. Container cargo transport comes with several inherent advantages. Even as it reduces the handling cost, allows easier modal shift, reduces pilferages and damage, it also enables cargo owners to reduce their carbon footprints.

The Ministry of Shipping is developing NW-1 (River Ganga) under Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) from Haldia to Varanasi (1,390 km) with the technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 5,369 crore (Rs.53.6 billion). The project would enable commercial navigation of vessels with capacity of 1,500-2,000 DWT.

The movement will give a fillip to the region's growth and employment. According to the World Bank economic analysis, of the 1.5 lakh direct and indirect employment opportunities to be created due to interventions under JMVP, 50,000 will be in Bihar alone, said a release.

Logistics News

Hyundai cars moved to Chennai Port by rail
Exim News Service - Chennai, Dec. 3 Top
Chennai Port received rakes containing cars of Hyundai Motor India on November 27 and 28, 2018, comprising 102 and 125 vehicles, respectively. They were offloaded and taken to the new concreted Parking Yard developed at a cost of Rs 37 crore (Rs.370 million). The space, measuring 1,15,000 sq. metres, can accommodate automobiles, machinery, over-dimensional cargo and project cargo in a clean environment, highlighted a release.

Rail has opened up a new avenue in the mode of transporting cars to the port, which used to hitherto totally come by road. This alternative mode is seen as a breakthrough and a boon to car exporting companies as it allows them to overcome the road restriction hurdle in the metropolitan area during the day. Rail mode allows cars to be brought into the port 24x7. It is expected to reduce the dependence on road to move vehicles to the port.

4,025 Hyundai cars, including the ones that arrived by rail, sailed on the vessel M.V. Glovis Sunlight on December 2, 2018.

Mr P. Raveendran, Chairman of Chennai Port, appreciated Hyundai Motor India for choosing this modal shift and therefore a cleaner, environment-friendly alternative. He was hopeful that this will significantly reduce transportation by road, leading to a decrease in congestion on the roads as well as reduced carbon emissions, the release added.

APM Terminals Pipavav & ICD Kanpur now connected by rail Exim News Service - Pipavav, December 3
CONCOR establishes the connectivity Top
APM Terminals Pipavav, one of India's leading multipurpose ports, is now connected to ICD Kanpur through rail movement. The new connection, established by CONCOR, gives customers the opportunity to connect to the gateway Port of Pipavav.

The maiden export train started from ICD Kanpur (JRY) to Port Pipavav in November. It was aptly named POLYMER Express as it was carrying 90 TEUs of polymer for GAIL.

The export-loaded train was flagged off by Mr C. N. Mishra, Deputy Commissioner of Customs, and Mr Santosh Kumar Singh, Terminal Manager, ICD Kanpur, on November 13, 2018.

Pipavav port expressed its sincere gratitude to Mr Anil Kanaujia, Officer [C&O], ICD Kanpur, and Mr Sandeep Rana, Senior Manager, BOXCO World Logistics, for attending the event, as well as Mr Bimal Singh Negi, Head North India, OOCL, for his support to establish this new connectivity.

Commented Mr Keld Pedersen, Managing Director, APM Terminals Pipavav, "My sincere gratitude to CONCOR for connecting our port to the hinterland via direct train. This will help the exporters and importers to move their cargo faster and safely through environment-friendly mode of transport."

Global investors bullish on Indian Logistics sector : PWC
Daily Shipping Times - Mumbai, December 6 Top
Global investors are bullish on India's logistics infrastructure sector, given the already existing shortages and the emerging new demand driven by e-commerce retailing, a report by Urban Land Institute and PwC said recently.

"Demand for logistics is booming in India due to the introduction of Good and Services Tax (GST) that has revolutionised how goods are delivered across the Country. This is perhaps the only sector where investor opinions were uniformly bullish. Developer willingness to build new facilities without pre-commitment from tenants is testament to the strength of the market," said the report on 'Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific, 2019'."

"With the Government now also according infrastructure status to warehousing projects, there is a huge pipeline of demand for large build-to-suits because there is hardly any ready-built demand. It is one of those rare sectors where the demand side is completely outstripping supply," it added

Indian Port News

VCT continuously enhancing productivity & efficiency
Exim News Service - Visakhapatnam, December 4 Top
With the commissioning of the new quay cranes, Visakha Container Terminal (VCT), at Visakhapatnam Port, continues to enhance its productivity and efficiency. Recently, VCT achieved the highest ship productivity (SMPH) of 105 moves per hour on m.v. Varada (CCG service) which sailed on the morning of October 31, 2018, bettering the earlier figure of 102 moves per hour, thereby setting up new benchmarks of productivity levels.

At VCT, the terminal infrastructure and IT systems are constantly enhanced to provide faster and cost-effective trade solutions to customers. With the successful implementation of the new equipment, VCT has augmented capacity and enhanced operational efficiency at the terminal, resulting in faster turnaround of vessels, thus giving the opportunity for more container services to call at Visakhapatnam.

Through high productivity, VCT facilitates faster movement of shipments, thereby reducing the cost of logistics and improving effectiveness of the supply chain for the ex-im trade, it highlighted in a communiqué.

BMCT achieves new productivity benchmark & develops closer customer links
Exim News Service - Navi Mumbai, December 5 Top
Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Pvt. Ltd (BMCT), a subsidiary of PSA International, has set a new vessel productivity benchmark of 175 moves per hour on the Hapag-Lloyd vessel MV Athenian, which departed on December 2, 2018 after handling 3,532 moves in just over 20 hours of operations. Together with vessels from partners CMA CGM and COSCO, the 9,954-TEU capacity MV Athenian operates the India Ocean / EPIC 2 weekly service, linking India and the Middle East directly with the North European ports of Antwerp, Hamburg and London.

As volumes continue to grow and more regular services come to the terminal, BMCT has embarked on a series of trade meets in key cargo areas, to highlight the advantages shippers using the terminal can enjoy. The first event was held in Kanpur on November 30 and was attended by over 100 members of the Kanpur trade community. Kanpur is well linked to JNPT by rail, with as many as 40 export and import trains monthly. With BMCT now offering direct weekly sailings to both Europe and Asia, shippers have an increased range of options, highlighted a release.

Attendees expressed their appreciation for the event, with CMA CGM's Kanpur Branch Manager, Mr Mahesh Dixit, commenting, "CMA CGM and Kanpur trade welcome the initiative of PSA Bharat Mumbai to organise a trade meet. It is the first time any port terminal took the initiative to connect directly with customers. This move shall certainly be beneficial to the trade and JNPT.

Ms Jyoti, in charge of imports for Rimjhim Ispat, also welcomed the move. "PSA Bharat Mumbai's initiative is highly welcome. We are confident in using JNPT terminals and are not looking for diversion to any other ports.

Hosting the trade meet was BMCT General Manager, Mr Sivakumar Kaliannan, who said, "We were honoured by the attendance of so many members of the Kanpur trade and appreciated the opportunity to introduce BMCT as well as hear their feedback and suggestions.

"Besides setting new productivity milestones, BMCT recently received nine more Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGCs). With three additional quay cranes arriving in the second quarter of next year, our annual capacity is expected to reach 2.4 million TEUs by the first half of 2019, making BMCT the largest container terminal in JNPT. Preparations for Phase 2 development-to double the capacity to 4.8 million TEUs-are well underway.

Managing Director of PSA India, Mr Mike Formoso, said, "Just two months after achieving 155 moves per vessel hour, BMCT's new milestone of 175 moves has surpassed PSA India's record of 169 moves previously held by our terminal in Chennai. May I congratulate BMCT's management and staff on their unstinting efforts to keep raising productivity levels. These achievements underscore our determination to provide consistent and reliable best-in-class services.

"We are also working towards offering a wider range of solutions to cargo owners in the near future and remain extremely grateful for the support of our customers and stakeholders working closely alongside us.