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.
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