India: A maritime hub?
Despite having a long coastline, India is not benefitting with port trade. Countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai are reaping benefits because India does not have the appropriate infrastructure and regulatory reforms in place. CARGOTALK looks at
The maritime industry is as old as the Indian civilisation and as vast as the Indian Ocean. With almost 7,500 km of coastline, Indian maritime sector has all the ingredients to become competitive in the global scenario and script a success story, as the Maritime India Summit 2016 discussed. The only need is to keep up with the changing trends in the international trade to become competitive. India’s growth is needed to propel by fasttracking regulatory reforms and implementation of projects.
Talking about the prospects of India becoming a maritime hub, Dinesh Gautama, President, Navkar Corporation, says, “India has a huge coastline of 7,517 km and a large sub-continental area along with a huge population for consumption and production. Ideally the requirements of creating a maritime hub for logistics are available and should be pursued. All types of products and goods are already moving in various supply chains but they need to be better managed so that the overall cost can be reduced and efficiency increased.” Pipavav, says, “Development of port infrastructure remains the most critical factor in the equation of world trade of India. The need of the hour is to equip the ports with facilities that are at par with global standards. Ports in the global arena are also equipped with advanced technology.”
According to Pedersen, India needs to address following points to be at par with the best ports in the world. • • • • Maritime hub means ship building, trading in ships, commercial activities like ship finance, broking, training.” On the other hand, Gur Prasad Kohli, Managing India? Can we move liquid cargoes (in parcels of 20 tonnes) easily within the country and outside? Can we move reefer cargoes easily from port to the hinterland? cargo as nations.” compared to other
“Relaxed cabotage regulation by the Ministry of Shipping to the special vessels could have given further impetus to the coastal shipping in becoming a preferred mode of transporting vehicles via coastal mode,” he added.
The developed countries have reached a high level of ‘container penetration’ which may be even around 70 to 80 per cent. In India that has not happened and have just reached about 18 to 20 per cent
Gautama says, “All our shipping laws are more than 50 years old. We are in the ‘containerisation’ era