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Week 6, 2020 (Feb 1 Feb 7)

Policy & Economy News

National Logistics Policy to be released soon, Finance Minister announces in Budget

India's crude steel output up, says World Steel Association

Commerce ministry preparing district export plan to boost shipments

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's shrimp exports to US up

Govt allows Krishnapuram onion exports till March 31, with riders

Electronic appliance makers eye Gujarat as new manufacturing hub

Bengal looking to grow export market for fruits, vegetables

Shipping News

India's coal import rises 8% to 186 MT in Apr-December

JNPT commences Coastal movement of Naphtha to Dahej

DP World launches new shipping services between UK and India

Logistics News

GST has resulted in efficiency gains in transport, logistics sector: Sitharaman

Indian Port News

Country to get its 13th major port at Vadhavan in Gujarat, for Rs 65,544 cr (Rs.655 billion)

Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal handles record over 6 lakh TEUs in 2019

Modi govt's waterways authority set to rope in private players to build, operate terminals

Exporters having AEO status permitted to pay THC directly to Terminal Operators from Feb. 5

First banana container train sent to JNPT for exports

Policy & Economy News

National Logistics Policy to be released soon, Finance Minister announces in Budget
Exim News Service - New Delhi, Feb. 2 Top
* Policy will clarify the roles of the various authorities

* Single window e-logistics market to be created

* Corporatising a Major Port and its listing on stock exchanges to be considered

On logistics and infrastructure, the Union Budget 2020-21, presented by Finance Minister, Ms Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, emphasised that a National Logistics Policy will be released soon, which will clarify the roles of the Union government, state governments and key regulators.

Also, a single window e-logistics market will be created and there will be focus on generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.

As regards ports & waterways, the Finance Minister said that corporatising at least one Major Port and its listing on stock exchanges to be considered. A governance framework keeping with global benchmarks needed for more efficient sea ports, it was pointed out.

Economic activity along river banks to be energised as per Prime Minister's Arth Ganga concept.

Overall, Rs 100 lakh crore (Rs.100 trillion) would be invested in infrastructure over the next 5 years. The National Infrastructure Pipeline, of Rs 103 lakh crore(Rs.103 trillion) launched on December 31, 2019, comprises more than 6,500 projects across sectors that are classified as per their size and stage of development. The FM said that about Rs 22,000 crore (Rs.220 billion) has already been provided as support to the Infrastructure Pipeline. Accelerated development of highways will be undertaken. This will include development of 2,500 km of access control highways, 9,000 km of economic corridors, 2,000 km of coastal and land port roads, and 2,000 km of strategic highways. Delhi-Mumbai Expressway and two other packages will be completed by 2023. The Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway will also be started and it is proposed to monetise at least 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6,000 km before 2024.

Allocation of Rs 1.70 lakh crore (Rs.1.7 trillion) is proposed for transport infrastructure in 2020-21. Similarly, allocation of Rs 22,000 crore (Rs.220 billion) proposed for power and renewable energy sector in 2020-21. Expansion of the national gas grid from the present 16,200 km to 27,000 km proposed.

To promote storage infrastructure and reduce wastage of foodgrains, the FM proposed creation of warehouses through viability gap funding on PPP mode at block level. She also proposed warehouse building by Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) on their land too. As a backward linkage, a village storage scheme was proposed to be run by Self Help Groups (SHG).

To build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of milk, meat and fish, the FM said, "Indian Railways will set up Kisan Rail through PPP arrangements. There shall be refrigerated coaches in express and freight trains as well". "To help improve value realisation, especially in the North-East and tribal districts, Krishi Udaan will be launched by the Ministry of Civil Aviation", added the Finance Minister.

As part of the Blue Economy, Rs 1 lakh crore (RS.1 trillion) fisheries' exports is to be achieved by 2024-25.

India's crude steel output up, says World Steel Association
Exim News Service - New Delhi, Feb. 3 Top
According to the World Steel Association's latest report, India's crude steel production for 2019 was 111.2 MT, up 1.8 per cent on 2018, while the global crude steel production was at 1,869.9 MT, up by 3.4 per cent compared to 2018. Further, the report said that crude steel output contracted in all regions in 2019 except in Asia and the Middle East. Asia produced 1,341.6 MT of crude steel in 2019, an increase of 5.7 per cent compared to 2018, said a report.

China's output in 2019 was at 996.3 MT, up by 8.3 per cent on 2018. Its share of global crude steel production increased from 50.9 per cent in 2018 to 53.3 per cent in 2019, said the report.

Commerce ministry preparing district export plan to boost shipments
India Seatrade News - February 5 Top
The commerce ministry has initiated a process to prepare a district export plan specific to every state and Union territory, with a view to boost the country's outbound shipments, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The plan will include the support required by the local industry in boosting their manufacturing and exports with impetus on supporting the industry from the production stage to the exporting stage, the ministry said.

"Informative material on various incentives provided by the government and states will be disseminated to the industry and other potential exporters," it said.

The plan will also include strategy to enhance logistics and infrastructure at the district level and better utilisation of the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme of the ministry for inviting foreign buyers.

Budgetary support will be provided to make outreach at the district level and prepare this plan, the ministry said.

It also said state and UTs will be assisted in preparing an annual Export Ranking Index of different districts to rank each district on its export competitiveness.

In order to prepare data, efforts have been made by the ministry to look into the feasibility of preparing district-level export data from the existing set-up.

The products identified, which has export potential, from the 750 districts in the country include leather, spices, garments, wool, food products, ceramics, cement, silk, carpet, glass items, metal crafts, sports goods, pharmaceuticals, engineering items, auto parts, poultry, vegetables, cut flowers, and scientific instruments.

For the plan, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has been engaging with states/ UTs to initiate its preparation and implementation.

The plan will be specific to each district.

The DGFT is also developing a portal to enable the states to upload all information related to the products with export potential of every district.

The preliminary exercise for the preparation of the plan will include an assessment of a district to identify the current export profile and its further potential in the district.

The ministry has mandated the regional authorities of DGFT to work with states and district-level officers to promote each district as an export hub.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget Speech 20220-21 stated that each district should develop as an export hub.

Business News - The India Boom Factor

India's shrimp exports to US up
Exim News Service - Washington, Feb. 2 Top
According to the latest data of US agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, India exported 258,837 tonnes of shrimp during January-November 2019 against 225,853 tonnes a year ago. In November 2019, India exported 28,290 tonnes of shrimp, 26 per cent higher than the 22,481 tonnes exported a year ago. During 2018, India accounted for 247,783 tonnes in the total US import of 695,332 tonnes. Shrimp exports to the US for the first eleven months of 2019 is higher by 14.6 per cent year-on-year, said a report.

Shrimp and overall marine exports from India to China are also increasing. According to a trade report by FAO's Globefish, which is responsible for information and analysis on international fish trade and markets, China is now the world's No. 1 market for shrimp and strong demand from Beijing kept the international shrimp trade stable in 2019, said the report.

Govt allows Krishnapuram onion exports till March 31, with riders
India Seatrade News - February 7 Top
The government Thursday lifted its ban on the export of Krishnapuram (KP) onions, a variety grown exclusively for the international market, allowing shipments of up to 10,000 metric tonne subject to certain conditions. The export shipment shall be allowed "only" through the Chennai port and would have to be completed by March 31, 2020, stated a notification by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Exporters of KP onions would have to get a certificate from the Assistant Director, Horticulture Kadapa, Government of Andhra Pradesh, certifying the quantity for export purpose. This certificate shall be registered by the exporter at the office of the Zonal Additional DGFT in Chennai.

The total quantity being allowed for exports shall be monitored and the Chennai port customs authorities will allow export on the basis of the certificate from the Andhra Pradesh government and the registration certificate from the DGFT zonal office.

The move, which comes around three months after the export ban on a similar variety of onions (Bangalore Rose), follows a request by YSRCP MP V Vijayasai Reddy earlier this week at the Rajya Sabha.

The government had banned exports of onions in September 2019 to increase domestic availability and contain rising prices of the commodity. The move had adversely impacted "thousands" of farmers growing the KP variety of onions, "as they could not even sell it in the domestic market," said Reddy in Parliament on February 4.

This variety is exclusively grown for export purposes to countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, and are not used in India due their small size and pungency, according to him. "Because of the unprecedented rise in the prices of onions, the Government of India may be justified in its decision to ban all exports of onion, but the ban to export onion in respect of KP onion is not justified," he said.

The MP noted that, while Bangalore Rose onions had been allowed to be exported, "inactivity" had prevailed on the issue of allowing KP onions to be exported.

"In view of the above, I request the commerce minister Piyush Goyal ji to take stock of the situation and immediately lift the ban on export of KP onions as shelf life of the variety is fast running out," said Reddy, adding that if the ban was not lifted "immediately", farmers growing the variety would be incurring "huge losses."

Electronic appliance makers eye Gujarat as new manufacturing hub
India Seatrade News - February 6 Top
A global appliance maker with a new manufacturing capacity in Noida is now in the process of doing a final review to shift base to Gujarat. An internal analysis by the company showed that the company could save almost Rs 430 crore (Rs.4.3 billion) annually if this shift was made.

"Skilled labour is cheaper and better road infrastructure and port connectivity ensures that manufacturing and logistics costs are lower," said the India CEO of the company quoted above.

This CEO states that the three 50-acre plots next to his plot were to be initially occupied by a Mumbai-based electronic goods firm. Even the latter had a change of strategy and shifted to Gujarat instead.

Leaving behind areas like Himachal Pradesh and Delhi-NCR (Greater Noida), Gujarat is slowly becoming the preferred destination of electronic appliance makers.

Gujarat recorded $66.8 billion worth of exports in 2017-18, contributing over 22 percent to India's net exports.

On January 30, Voltbek Home Appliances, a joint venture between AC maker Voltas and Europe's consumer durables player, Arcelik, commenced its first manufacturing facility in India. Spread over 60 acres in Sanand, an industrial hub near Ahmedabad, Gujarat, the factory will manufacture Home Appliances that include refrigerators and washing machines.

The company said that this unit will create an OEM base for home appliances in the region, along with local employment opportunities.

During this facility launch, Noel Tata, Chairman, Voltas Limited, said that Gujarat will soon become the manufacturing hub for white goods firms. Tata added that their supply chain has already begun to relocate itself around this factory.

This, he said, will lead to development of Gujarat as a consumer durables manufacturing hub just as the Tata Motors factory led to Gujarat's development as an auto manufacturing hub.

Players like Polycab already have a manufacturing facility in Halol, Gujarat for the wires and cables business. Similarly, Crompton Greaves Consumer also has manufacturing presence in Gujarat for products like lighting.

Policy measures

In the context of National Electronics Policy and associated emphasis on setting up of electronics manufacturing industry in the country, the Government of Gujarat, with a view to providing focused attention on the subject, came out with the Electronics Policy for the State of Gujarat (2014-2019).

The aim of this plan is to establish Gujarat as a globally-recognized hub for the electronic system design and manufacturing with a turnover of USD 16 billion by 2021 and an investment of USD 6 billion to create employment opportunities for 5 lakh people by 2021.

Here, the aim of the government is to facilitate setting up of Greenfield and Brownfield Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMCs) with world-class logistics and infrastructure and business-friendly facilities with good sea, air and inland connectivity.

"The state government has enabled companies to develop land on a cost-effective basis to manufacturers. Power is also cheaper and it is uninterrupted," said the head of the Gujarat manufacturing facility of an Indian electrical goods firms.

He added that depending on the type of industry and capital invested, tax benefits in the form of reimbursements are also offered to the companies.

While sectors like textile have seen a slowdown post-demonetisation, appliance makers said that this has led to the steady supply of skilled talent to the factories.

The manufacturing cluster head of a small appliance maker said that the minimum wages policy has also been robust and hence worker strikes in the state are also minimal. This improves productivity.

The Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation has played a key role in helping companies set up manufacturing units in the special economic zones (SEZ) as well as special investment regions.

Gujarat has five SEZs, two in Gandhinagar (electronics and IT), one each in Vadodara (bio-technology), Surat (apparel) and Ahmedabad (apparel). These SEZ offer tax concessions setting up plants in the area.

Other manufacturing hubs in Gujarat

Sectors like automobiles, diamonds, textile, oil & gas and pharmaceuticals have a large manufacturing presence in the state.

When it comes to automobiles, the sector has already made Gujarat a major manufacturing hub with presence of players like Tata Motors, Ford, Maruti Suzuki, MG Motors and Honda Motorcycles. The auto clusters in Sanand, Halol and Rajkot is expected to cater to almost 350 auto maker units.

Apart from this, oil and gas refining is a major industry.

Gujarat is also the textile hub of the country with around 8 textile clusters of $30 billion. The state also accounts for 27 percent of the total cotton output of India.

Bengal looking to grow export market for fruits, vegetables
India Seatrade News - February 4 Top
Despite emerging as the top State in vegetable production in 2018-19, West Bengal accounts for only around 20 per cent of the country's total exports of fruits, vegetable seeds and fresh vegetables in volume terms. In value terms, the State's share to the total exports is around 11 per cent.

West Bengal produced 29.55 million tonnes (mt) of vegetables in 2018-19 as against 27.70 mt in the year before. Vegetable production in UP, which held the numero uno position earlier, came down to 27.71 mt in 2018-19 from 28.32 mt the previous year, according to the State-wise horticulture production data released by the Agriculture Ministry recently.

Acreage

The total area under vegetable crop in West Bengal is close to 1,490.39 hectares and the productivity is around 19.82 tonnes per hectare. UP's total area under vegetable crop is close to 1,256.27 hectares and has a productivity of 22.05 tonnes per hectare.

In 2018-19, West Bengal exported around 1, 43,925.89 tonnes of fresh vegetables estimated at around ₹258.22 crore (Rs.2.5 billion), as against India's exports of around 7,20,558.42 tonnes, valued at ₹1,950.96 crore (Rs.19.5 billion). Fruits and vegetable seeds exports stood at around 6,013.44 tonnes as against the national total of 16,151 tonnes.

According to Pradip Kumar Mazumdar, Chief Advisor, State Agriculture department, West Bengal has been focusing on diversifying into many varieties of crops that are in demand. This helps ensure that farmers get better prices.

"The problem with agriculture throughout the country is that people are aimlessly chasing productivity enhancement without understanding the demand. In West Bengal, we have been focusing on diversifying into such varieties of crops which are in demand so that the farmer at the end of the day gets better price," Mazumdar told.

While the State has been known for its potatoes across the country as it more "institutionalised" and has the involvement of industry, vegetables were being grown more "haphazardly" without much of guidance or support to farmers.

"Now we are trying to give a sense of direction in growing vegetables and fruits. For instance, we have introduced tissue culture banana, which is catching on and is going to international markets. Our farmers are small, they need handholding and guidance," he said.

Bottlenecks

The West Bengal State Food Processing and the Horticulture Development Corporation Ltd had recently organised a stakeholders' meeting to take stock of the various hindrances in exports including lack of necessary infrastructure and inadequate quality standards. A number of exporters and associations engaged in exports of fruits, vegetables and betel leaf were a part of the meeting.

"Lack of flights to transport perishables quickly, unsatisfactory quality of products and inadequate market connectivity are some of the key issues faced by exporters," said one of the exporters who attended that meeting.

While there is a lot of prospect for exporting green chillies, okra (ladies finger), all kinds of leafy vegetables, betel leaf, certain varieties of lemon like Gandharaj and Kagaji from Bengal, however, not much has been happening on the ground.

"We need a certificate for exporting these products to other countries and the state government has not been too proactive in helping us get the same," the exporter said.

Shipping News

India's coal import rises 8% to 186 MT in Apr-December
Daily Shipping Times - New Delhi, February 5 Top
India's coal import increased by 7.6 per cent to 185.88 million tonnes (MT) in the April-December period of the current fiscal.

Coal imports in December rose by 13.3 per cent to 20.52 MT compared to 18.10 MT in the year-ago month, according to provisional data by mjunction services.

Non-coking coal imports were at 14.21 MT in December 2019 against 12.5 MT in December 2018.

Coking coal imports were at 4.47 MT against 3.76 MT imported in December 2018.

"There was slight uptick in import activities during the month, thanks to the recovery in steel prices and steady demand from sectors like cement and sponge iron," mjunction MD and CEO Vinaya Varma said.

Going forward, import demand may subside a little due to current volatility in non-coking coal prices and increased supply of coal from domestic sources, he said.

mjunction - a joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL- is a B2B e-commerce company and also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals.

During the April-December period, coal and coke imports were at 185.88 MT, up by 7.66 per cent compared to 172.65 MT in the same period last year.

India imported 235.2 million tonnes of coal in 2018-19 valued at Rs 1.7 lakh crore (Rs.1.7 trillion).

JNPT commences Coastal movement of Naphtha to Dahej
Daily Shipping Times - Navi Mumbai, February 03 Top
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), India's Premier Container Port announced the commencement of Coastal movement of 'Naphtha', produced by ONGC.

JNPT regularly handles various petroleum products including LPG, High speed Diesel, Motor Spirit, Naphtha, Crude oil through BPCL Liquid cargo jetty. ONGC is one of the major customers of JNPT and have made significant contribution to liquid cargo handling at JNPT.

They are using JNPT for movement of their Crude Oil produced in Bombay High (MR Crude) to coastal refineries and export of their Naphtha produced at ONGC Uran plant to their overseas buyers.

Now ONGC have made agreement with ONGC Petro additions Ltd. (OPAL), a joint venture company promoted by ONGC and co-promoted by GAIL and GSPC, located in Dahej SEZ, Gujarat, to supply the Naphtha produced at ONGC Uran plant to OPAL through marine route. The first laycan for the loading was planned for the 27-28 January 2020.

Vessel MT Maria Glory chartered by OPAL was berthed at 1440 Hours on 27th Jan'2020 at BPCL's liquid jetty at JNPT on priority for loading of 32500 MT of Naphtha for shipment to Dahej.

Senior officials of JNPT, ONGC, BPCL & OPAL, graced the occasion. The maiden vessel MT Maria Glory was flagged off by Shri. Niteen Borwankar Chief Manager (Traffic), Shri. Amit Kapoor Deputy Conservator, Shri. S V Madabhavi Chief Manager (PP&D) from JNPT, Shri. Narendra Asija, ED-PMU, Shri. T K Banerjee ED, COP from ONGC and Shri. Senthil R Terminal Manager from BPCL.

As India's leading Container Port, JNPT is constantly innovating and up-scaling operations to not only meet but exceed global benchmarks with an underlying commitment to provide seamless customer experience and Ease of Doing Business. JNPT has firmly anchored itself as the major catalyst for the trade and commerce in the Country and is strongly committed to providing seamless services to the maritime sector.

DP World launches new shipping services between UK and India
India Seatrade News - February 1 Top
DP World has launched a new shipping service, Al Rawdah, that operates between the UK and the East Coast of India.

The new IEX service is aimed at improving trade the opportunities between the two countries. It increases the number of direct services with India to three a week, which is more than in any port in the UK.

London Gateway is an automated deep-sea container port developed by DP World on the north bank of the River Thames in Essex.

Previously, customers had to transship in Colombo, Sri Lanka where the containers had to be offloaded, stored and reloaded for the trip to the UK.

The new service offers a direct route that will ensure improved security and supply chain integrity.

The service was launched in collaboration with COSCO, Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming, ONE and OOCL and will be able to handle nine 6,500 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels a week.

DP World UK Ports head James Leeson said: "This is a strong endorsement of DP World London Gateway as a major global trading hub on key trade routes.

"It further underlines the tremendous opportunity we provide for our customers to realise the game-changing value and accelerate their cargo deployments. Our proximity to one of the largest consumer markets in Europe helps reduce costs and carbon emissions.

"The new direct service to and from the East Coast of India is a welcome addition to our global network. DP World London Gateway ships to more countries than any other deep-sea ports in the country."

Logistics News

GST has resulted in efficiency gains in transport, logistics sector: Sitharaman
India Seatrade News - February 3 Top
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday hailed the Goods and Services Tax (GST), saying that the new tax regime has resulted in efficiency gains in transport and logistics sector.

"GST has resulted in efficiency gains in the transport and logistics sector. Inspector Raj has vanished. It has benefitted MSME. Consumers have got an annual benefit of Rs 1 lakh crore by GST," Sitharaman said while presenting Union Budget 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha.

Stating that the Budget 2020-21 is to boost the income of people and enhance their purchasing power, she said "Our people should be gainfully employed. Our businesses should be healthy, for all minorities, women and people from SCs and STs. This Budget aims to fulfil their aspirations."

"With renewed vigour, under PM's leadership, we commit ourselves to present the people of India with all humility and dedication. People have reposed faith in our economic policy," she added.

It is worth mention the gross GST collection in the month of January this year has been pegged at Rs 1,10,828 crore (Rs.1.1 trillion) of which Central GST (CGST) is Rs 20,944 crore (Rs.209.4 billion), State GST (SGST) is Rs 28,224 crore (Rs.282.2 billion), Integrated GST (IGST) is Rs 53,013 crore (Rs.530.1 billion) including Rs 23,481 crore (Rs.234.8 billion) collected on imports, and cess is Rs 8,637 crore (Rs,86.3 billion) including Rs 824 crore (Rs.8.2 billion) collected on imports.

According to the Union Finance Ministry, GST revenue collection for January 2020 stands second-highest monthly collection since the implementation of the new tax regime. The total number of GSTR 3B Returns filed for the month of December up to January 2020 is 83 lakh (provisional).

According to the ministry, the government has settled Rs 24,730 crore (Rs.247.3 billion) to CGST and Rs 18,199 crore (Rs.181.9 billion) to SGST from the IGST as regular settlement. The total revenue earned by the Central and the State governments after regular settlement in the month of January 2020 is Rs 45,674 crore (Rs.456.7 billion) for CGST and Rs 46,433 crore (Rs.464.3 billion) for the SGST.

The GST revenues during January 2020 from domestic transactions have shown an impressive growth of 12 per cent over the revenue during January 2019. Taking into account the IGST collected from imports of goods, the total revenue during January 2020 has increased by 8 per cent in comparison to the revenue during January 2019.

During this month, the IGST on import of goods has shown a negative growth of minus 3 per cent as compared to January 2019. This is the only second time since the introduction of GST that the monthly revenues have crossed Rs 1.1 lakh crore (Rs.1.1 trillion).

Indian Port News

Country to get its 13th major port at Vadhavan in Gujarat, for Rs 65,544 cr (Rs.655 billion)
India Seatrade News - February 5 Top
India is set to add a major port to its kitty of 12 existing ones as the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved setting up one such port at Vadhavan in Gujarat at a total cost of Rs 65,544.54 crore (Rs.655 billion).

The Vadhavan port will be developed on "landlord' model. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be formed with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as the lead partner with 50 per cent or more equity to implement the project.

Under the landlord port model, the port authority typically leases infrastructure to private operating firms or to user industries such as refineries, and oil and gas terminals. Such ports have a hybrid character and strive to achieve a balance between public (port authority) and private (port industry) interests.

The SPV will develop the port infrastructure including reclamation, construction of breakwater, besides establishing connectivity to the hinterland.

All the business activities would be undertaken under PPP mode by private developers.

Currently, India has 12 major ports at Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

"Setting up a major port is a big task and takes time but I am hopeful that we should be able to start work on the project soon," Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya told reporters when asked about the timeline for the new port.

The reason behind setting up another major port on the country's west coast is the exhaustion of container cargo capacity of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port which is 10 million TEUs (twenty foot equivalent). On the west coast this capacity is 18 million TEUs, while the total requirement will increase to 25 million TEUs in 2030.

With the development of Vadhavan port, India will break into the countries with top 10 container ports in the world, Mandaviya said.

Maharashtra has India's largest container port at JNPT which caters to the hinterland of Maharashtra, North Karnataka, Telangana and secondary hinterland of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, NCR, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

The central government felt that there was need for a deep draft port to accommodate the largest Container Ships in the world and also cater to the spill over traffic from JNPT port once its planned capacity of 10 million TEUs is fully utilized.

The Vadhavan port has a natural draft of about 20 meters close to the shore, making it possible for it to handle bigger vessels at the port. Development of Vadhavan port will enable call of container vessels of 16,000-25,000 TEUs capacity, giving advantages of economies of scale and reducing logistics cost.

The demand for container traffic will further accelerate after the plans for improving logistic infrastructure fructify and the 'Make in India' push drives greater exports and manufacture sourcing to India, an official statement said.

WHAT THE PORT COULD BRING

  • Boost for port-led development
  • Reduction in logistics cost
  • Development of tribal areas
  • Cargo from - South Gujarat, Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Maharashtra, Telangana, North Karnataka and land locked states of north India
Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal handles record over 6 lakh TEUs in 2019
India Seatrade News - February 5 Top
The Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal (DBGT), which operates a container terminal at Berth No. 8 at V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust - Tuticorin, has seen steady growth in volumes since its commissioning in 2014. The terminal, which has a yard with 7,140 slots capacity, handled 6,39,618 TEUs in 2019, a significant surge from just 29,196 TEUs in its first year of operations, said a release.

The management and staff of DBGT have expressed sincere gratitude to the Tuticorin trade community for the support and trust they reposed in the terminal.

A salient feature of the terminal is its seamless congestion-free road connectivity to all major hinterlands-Tirupur, Pollachi, Salem, Karur, Coimbatore, Madurai, Kollam, Alappuzha and Bangalore-supported by multimodal modes of transportation. DBGT is continuously striving to achieve improvements in performance and productivity to attract more volume.

The terminal stands at the forefront of technological advancements with higher productivity levels-average gross crane rate of 32 moves/hour, average berth productivity of 67 moves/hour, average vessel and gate moves of 1,200 containers/day and truck turnaround time (TTT) averaging 21 minutes per trailer. The highest gross crane rate (GCR) achieved in 2019 was on MV SSL MUMBAI on January 31 @ 58.11 moves/hour. The highest berth productivity was achieved on MV MAERSK AVON on September 22, 2019 @ 94.86 moves/hour.

The terminal management hopes to build upon the success in 2020 and attain even greater heights in volumes and efficiency

Modi govt's waterways authority set to rope in private players to build, operate terminals
India Seatrade News - February 5 Top
With the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) scripting a turnaround in the last couple of years, it will for the first time float tenders soon to invite private players to operate the two completed multimodal terminals that have come up on the Ganga river in Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi and Jharkhand's Sahibganj.

A third multimodal terminal at Haldia in West Bengal, scheduled to be completed this year, will also be given to private players for operation, said multiple senior IWAI officials familiar with the development.

All three terminals on National Waterways-1 (Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system) are part of the Rs 5,369-crore (Rs.53.6 billion) Jal Marg Vikas project to develop the Varanasi-Haldia stretch, jointly funded by the Narendra Modi government and the World Bank.

Once the project is completed by 2023, cargo volumes of up to 27 million tonnes can be moved on NW-1.

"We have already readied the tender documents. No further expansion or development will be incurred by the government. Private players have evinced a lot of interest to take over the terminal operations through a concession agreement for 15-20 years," said IWAI vice-chairman Pravir Pandey.

"Unlike the highways sector where you have the built operate and transfer mode, here it will be equip operate and transfer," said Pandey.

IWAI is currently working on framing the rules to allow the private players to operate the terminals.

In all, there are 111 waterways, which have been declared national waterways under the NW Act, 2016. Of these, NW-1, NW-2, NW-3 are operational, carrying cargo and passenger vessels. The IWAI has categorised the remaining waterways based on their viability and are currently working to develop them in a phased manner.

Exporters having AEO status permitted to pay THC directly to Terminal Operators from Feb. 5
Exim News Service - February 5 Top
OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS (NS-V), JAWAHARLAL NEHRU CUSTOM HOUSE, NHAVA SHEVA F. No. - S/12-Gen-Misc - 02/2019-20/ AM (X) PUBLIC NOTICE No. 14/2020.

Attention of all Exporters, Customs Broker, Shipping Lines/Agents, CFSs, Custodians, Port Terminal Operators, General Trade coming under the jurisdiction of JNCH, Nhava Sheva and all other stakeholders is invited on the above captioned subject.

2.'Terminal Handling Charges' (THC) are levied by Port Terminals to the Shipping Lines and Shipping Lines in turn collect these charges from the exporters. Many exporters have represented to the Department that Shipping Lines are collecting 'Terminal Handling Charges' which are at variance with what the shipping lines have paid as THC to the port terminals. This results in lack of transparency in these charges.

3.In order to bring transparency and to augment the 'ease of doing business' and to reduce the logistics costs, it has been decided that the exporters having AEO status may be permitted to pay the Terminal Handling Charges (THC) directly to the Terminal Operators instead of paying through Shipping Lines. Therefore, all such eligible exporters who have already opened P.D. Account with the Terminal Operators may pay terminal handling charges directly to the respective Terminals. The eligible exporters who do not have P.D. Accounts may open P.D. Accounts with the concerned Ports/Terminals and pay terminal handling charges directly to the concerned Ports/Terminals. Ports/Terminals are also requested to raise invoices for THC directly to the eligible and willing exporters.

4.All terminals/ports are to implement this Public Notice positively by 5th of February, 2020. The nodal officers shown below may be contacted in case of any query:

5.Difficulties faced, if any, may be brought immediately to the notice of the undersigned

First banana container train sent to JNPT for exports
Exim News Service - Anantpur, Feb. 4 Top
The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), along with the government of Andhra Pradesh and one of the largest member exporters of banana, despatched the first shipment of 890 MTs of high quality bananas, loaded in 43 refrigerated containers, from Tadipatri, Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JN Port) in Navi Mumbai for export to international markets.

The government of India, under Agri Export Policy, has notified banana clusters in the Anantpur and Kadappa districts of Andhra Pradesh. The exporting company has been able to change the package of practices by providing expertise and technology to help banana growers in Andhra Pradesh enhance the quality of production.

More than 500 farmers cultivating bananas in more than 1,800 hectares have been trained to boost the production and export of the fruit from Anantpur and nearby districts.

The long distance of the Andhra Pradesh farms to the export port in Mumbai affects the viability of export shipments due to high transport cost and quality losses during transit. Efforts have been made for reducing the transit time by using refrigerated rail containers.

More than 3,000 farmers with an annual production of over 1 lakh MT are being handheld for exports directly. The efforts of APEDA, with the support of the state government and exporters, are likely to provide a good opportunity for India to increase its share in world banana trade, said a release.

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