Karaikal Port: A suit­able gate­way for trade

GRK Reddy, Pro­moter & Di­rec­tor, Karaikal Port, shares the in­sights of the port, the ex­pan­sion plans and ways to deal with hic­cups in the In­dian mar­itime sec­tor to progress ef­fi­ciently.

Cargo Talk - - Interview -

What are the is­sues that need to be looked in the mar­itime sec­tor? Swift mod­erni­sa­tion

An ef­fi­cient in­ter­modal sys­tem is vi­tal to the suc­cess of a port as it sup­ports seam­less move­ment of cargo across all modes ship, rail and truck. In fact, a gov­ern­ment re­port says that due to poor port in­fra­struc­ture and pro­duc­tiv­ity, In­dia’s trans-ship­ment cargo is han­dled at South Asian hubs like Colombo or Sin­ga­pore, which costs In­dian ports around US $230 mil­lion in rev­enue an­nu­ally.

Pur­su­ing Make in In­dia

The gov­ern­ment’s ship­build­ing pol­icy pro­vides a boost by en­cour­ag­ing In­dian ship­yards to bag for­eign or­ders in a more ag­gres­sive man­ner and meet the re­quire­ments of In­dian ship-own­ers.

A cost-ef­fec­tive and skilled man­power base, es­tab­lished steel in­dus­try, tech­nol­ogy know-how and an in­creased de­mand in do­mes­tic ship­build­ing could en­hance In­dia’s global ship­build­ing share from one per cent to five per cent by 2020. The In­dian mar­itime sec­tor needs to be con­stantly on the look­out for tech­nolo­gies and ad­vance­ments that help save cost and de­liver more for less. A ma­jor way could be through part­ner­ships and col­lab­o­ra­tions with suc­cess­ful mar­itime clus­ters es­pe­cially in ar­eas of ship de­sign, au­to­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy. Such col­lab­o­ra­tions can im­prove ef­fi­ciency and en­hance com­pet­i­tive­ness. Also in view of the re­cent reg­u­la­tions to con­trol emis­sions from ships set by In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion, there will be a grow­ing need to col­lab­o­rate for en­vi­ron­ment-friendly tech­nol­ogy and so­lu­tions, such as LNG pow­ered ves­sels. The other key area that could ben­e­fit from part­ner­ships and tech­no­log­i­cal as­sis­tance of mar­itime coun­tries will be train­ing and de­vel­op­ment of man­power to bring the front­line work­force up to speed on world-class man­u­fac­tur­ing tech­niques and pro­cesses. The academia can also look at estab­lish­ing univer­sity part­ner­ships to en­cour­age in­no­va­tion, knowl­edge shar­ing and trans­fer.

Clus­ters in­duce in­no­va­tions, cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, at­tract for­eign in­vestors and also spark new ideas. The gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied two ma­jor mar­itime clus­ters in Tamil Nadu and Gu­jarat sim­i­lar to the global suc­cess sto­ries in Ja­pan and South Korea.

How is the port bet­ter equipped to serve hin­ter­lands?

The cur­rent berth oc­cu­pancy of the port can cope up with an­other 25 per cent more traf­fic with­out aug­men­ta­tion of berth fa­cil­i­ties and is bet­ter poised to han­dle about six rakes a day apart from 7000 mt of road dis­patches per day. About 35,000 mt of cargo dis­patches through road and rail would en­tail move­ment of about mil­lion tons of var­i­ous com­modi­ties as per the needs of the cus­tomers.

Elab­o­rate on port’s coal han­dling sys­tem set to be op­er­a­tional next year.

The ports coal han­dling sys­tem will fur­ther de­con­gest the port in terms of quicker turn­around of ves­sel and faster evac­u­a­tion of cargo by rake and rail.

What are the fu­ture growth plans?

The port is well po­si­tioned to han­dle LNG and con­tainer cargo re­quire­ments. As the vol­ume in­creases, num­ber of berths will be in­creased to cater to needs and cor­re­spond­ing stor­age yard and rail­way sid­ings too may be in­creased.

GRK Reddy Pro­moter & Di­rec­tor Karaikal Port The cur­rent berth oc­cu­pancy can cope up with an­other 25 per cent more traf­fic with­out aug­men­ta­tion of berth fa­cil­i­ties

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