Liner con­nec­tiv­ity in In­dia

Up­siz­ing of con­tain­er­ships has been a trend in the ship­ping in­dus­try to achieve economies of scale. How­ever, the pace at which the ves­sel sizes are in­creas­ing in last decade is un­fore­seen.

Maritime Gateway - - India Container Market Report 2017 -

Up­siz­ing of con­tain­er­ships has been a trend in the ship­ping in­dus­try to achieve economies of scale. How­ever, the pace at which the ves­sel sizes are in­creas­ing in last decade is un­fore­seen. In global con­tainer fleet to­day, we can see more than 50 ships with ca­pac­ity ex­ceed­ing 18,000 teu. Al­though order­ing of new ships has taken a pause, ru­mours of CMA CGM and MSC order­ing 22,000 teu ves­sels might be a re­al­ity soon. How­ever, economies of scale from car­ri­ers’ per­spec­tive does not al­ways hold true from the ter­mi­nal op­er­a­tors’ per­spec­tive. To ac­com­mo­date large ships, the ports need to con­tin­u­ally up­grade their han­dling in­fra­struc­ture apart from in­creas­ing the ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity to re­main com­pet­i­tive.

Be­ing sit­u­ated on a ma­jor trade lane (Asia-eu­rope), In­dian ports can­not re­main aloof from the emerg­ing trends in global con­tainer ship­ping. The largest ves­sels de­liv­ered out of ship­yards mostly find their home on this route due to the geoe­co­nomic dy­nam­ics. There­fore, the av­er­age ship size in 2011 on Asia-eu­rope route was 9,400 teu which in­creased to 14,700 in 2017, about 60 per cent in­crease in cargo car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity per ves­sel on an av­er­age. Sim­i­lar is the case for In­dian ports. The av­er­age size of con­tainer ships han­dled by In­dian ports in­creased from 3,700 teu to 6,100 teu in 2017. Sim­i­larly, the largest ship size also rose to 12,500 teu from 7,400 teu.

In­dia’s big­gest ma­jor port Jawa­har­lal Nehru Port is also go­ing through ma­jor ex­pan­sions and en­hance­ments to ac­com­mo­date the big­ger size ves­sels. Main­te­nance, dredg­ing of the Port chan­nel and basin has been car­ried out in the re­cent past in or­der to serve the trade with bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture ready in place. Dur­ing 23rd and 24th April 2016, JN Port han­dled the big­gest ves­sel of 13,371 TEUS ca­pac­ity, MSC Fabi­ola of 366 me­ters’ length at its pri­vate ter­mi­nal Nhava Sheva (In­dia) Gate­way Ter­mi­nal (NSIGT) op­er­ated by DP World. Ves­sel MSC Sola with deep­est draft ever of 15.2 me­ters also be­ing han­dled at port. JNPT SEZ has ac­quired all reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ances to cater to big­ger ves­sels, In March 2017, the Port has also awarded ten­der for in­creas­ing draft. The dredg­ing project be­ing com­pleted at a cost of Rs 2029 crore will place JNPT in the league of deeper ports and en­sure scale economies to its EXIM trade. The project in­cludes the ex­ist­ing chan­nel to be widened to 450 me­tres from the cur­rent 370 me­tres, and the straight reach chan­nel to be ex­tended to 35.5 kms, from the ex­ist­ing 33.5 kms. The draft of the chan­nel will be in­creased to 15 me­tre, from the cur­rent 14 me­tre. The es­ti­mated quan­tity to be dredged is to the tune of 35.03 mil­lion cu­bic me­tre, in­clud­ing 1.73 mil­lion cu­bic me­tre rock dredg­ing. JN Port is re­peat­edly achiev­ing sev­eral mile­stones in terms of ves­sel size to fa­cil­i­tate faster turn­around and re­in­force JN Port’s po­si­tion as one of the lead­ing con­tainer Ports in the Coun­try.

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