Friday, November 29, 2013

CCHAA delegation visits L&T’s KICT


A group of over 20 members from Chennai Custom House Agents’ Association (CCHAA) visited L & T’s Kattupalli International Container Terminal (KICT) at Kattupalli on Nov 27.
Led by CCHAA President P. S. Krishnan and its Secretary G. D. Sigamani, the team, which entered the terminal premises in the morning, left  KICT by evening after visiting all the the facilities.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, Mr. Krishnan said: “On the invitation of KICT Kattupalli authorities, we have visited the terminal along with top office-bearers of the association.” 
It was a wonderful visit to the new port facility promoted by L & T near Chennai Port with container handling capacity and the terminal representatives clarified all the doubts raised by the visiting Custom House Agents on the advantages of using it for EXIM business,” he added.

To a question about the prospects of KICT for Chennai EXIM fraternity, Mr. Krishnan replied: “KICT, which has all the modern and latest equipment for handling containers, will become a good substitute port for Chennai Port, which is reeling under perennial congestion problem.”

But the success of the port solely depends upon the decision of steamer agents, who has a say on which port a container vessel has to call, Mr. Krishnan added. He also said that the terminal visit has helped the CCHAA office-bearers to understand the facility better and hoped that the port could attract more and more regular services in coming months.
It may be noted here that KICT now has regular THAILAND CHENNAI EXPRESS SERVICE (TCX) service, giving connectivity with Port Klang and Laem Chabang for Chennai EXIM fraternity.
Furthermore, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) vessel Hyundai Highway made a trial call at KICT in September last.
Besides, representatives of MCCI and a few other organizations had also visited the terminal facility in the last few months and lauded the KICT authorities for their readiness in providing one more opportunity for export and import of containers.

An end to traffic jam of container-laden trailers

Mr B.B. Pattanaik, Managing Director, Central Warehousing. Corporation (CWC) (second from right) exchanging Memorandum of Agreement with Mr Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, in the presence of Union Shipping Minister Mr G K Vasan on Nov 29 in Chennai
Pic courtesy: Mr  T Shankaran

With a view to easing congestion of container-laden trailers along Ennore Expressway and Madhavaram to the port, Chennai Port Trust on Nov. 29 inaugurated its parking yard-cum-seal verification centre at Thiruvottiyur.
In the presence of Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) Managing Director B. B. Patnaik, Union Minister of Shipping G. K. Vasan inaugurated the operations of the Thiruvottiyur parking yard by flagging off the first container-laden trailer to the yard.
Chennai Port has developed in the first phase the parking facility for around 250 trailers investing about Rs. 6 crores in an area of 17,500 sq metres.
On full functioning, all the Chennai Port-bound container-laden lorries shall first come to the parking yard and after verification of all the documents shall proceed to the port and there would not be any waiting of container lorries in the Ennore Expressway.
“The project has been envisaged primarily to reduce traffic congestion created by container trailers in North Chennai and I want to reiterate that it was not for profit making,” the Minister told reporters after witnessing the signing of Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between Chennai Port and CWC here.
“Though the Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC), which has in-principle cleared the proposal a few months ago, Chennai Port has applied to the Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, for approval through Chennai Customs for which the approval is expected shortly,” Mr. Vasan added.
On a question about the progress of EMRIP, he replied: “Despite glitches in a few stretches, work by and large is progressing well and if all the works are completed accordingly, the road would be inaugurated for commercial traffic by January 2014.”
Elaborating further about the advantages of the parking yard, Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, stated: “Besides seal verification and parking facility, we are planning to open a 24X7 pass issuing section inside the yard, so that it could reduce the waiting time for trailers as well as agents who throng at the main pass section near the port premises.”

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Govt wants to see all ports reap profits: Vasan


The Government of India’s endeavour is to see all the ports in the country remain profitable, Union Minister of Shipping G. K. Vasan has said.

He was speaking after flagging off coal barges of 2, 100 DWT (Deadweight tonnage) of Jindal ITF Ltd, to formally launch the recently started movement of imported coal on National Waterway-1 (the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System) by inland vessels from Sandheads in Bay of Bengal to Farakka Thermal Power Plant of NTPC Ltd. in District Murshidabad, West Bengal, in Kolkata on Nov. 25.

Mr. Vasan said: “This is a unique project where Government, public and private sectors joined hands together to provide a good alternative mode of transport.”
He pointed out that the Kolkata Port Trust would also get revenue out of the project. The Unioin Minister further inaugurated a transport terminal of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) at the function at Garden Reach Jetty-2 in Kolkata Port Trust area.

He added: “In due course of time IWAI would develop more such inter-modal transportation hubs with rail and road connectivity for the movement of not only coal but also for other bulk cargos like fertilizers and foodgrains. This additional supply of coal through inland waterways, an eco-friendly, economical and fuel- efficient mode of transport, will augment coal supply to NTPC Power Plant at Farakka enabling increased power generation and employment opportunities.”

The Minister also expressed happiness that for the first time in the country a private entrepreneur has made a substantiate investment in the IWT development.

It may be noted here that Jindal ITF Ltd. has invested about Rs. 500 crores for trans-shipper at Sandheads, 23 coal carrying barges, inland water terminal at Farakka with state-of-art coal unloading cranes and a conveyor belt system.

The operator, Jindal ITF Ltd. will transport minimum three million tonnes of coal per annum for seven years.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Vishwapati Trivedi, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping, stated that the project has been set overcoming great difficulties. He emphasized on the importance of further developing the riverain ports of the region.

Kolkata being a transportation hub on the Ganga, the new terminal would serve the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and the North-Eastern Region. The construction of this RCC Inland Waterways Terminal (IWT) terminal was taken up in Kolkata Port Trust area at a cost of about Rs. 38 crores and it will give a fillip to inland navigation in the region.

It is the first project for bulk movement of coal through National Waterways. A conveyor belt system from the jetty on National Waterway-1 to the coal stockyard of NTPC power plant was also set up at Farakka.

The Inland Water Transport is economical, environmental friendly and is most suitable for bulk cargo movement. IWAI is developing first 3 National Waterways namely NW-1 (on the Ganga), NW-2 (Brahmaputra) and NW-3 (on the West Coast Canal system) for shipping and navigation by providing navigational channel with targeted depth and width for most part of the year. Intermodal connectivity with rail and road has also been planned for selected locations depending on the hinterland cargo projections.

The infrastructure so far created will be further developed if any other specific projects targeting large quantity of bulk goods like steel, cement, jute, fertilizers and foodgrains are identified and committed for transportation on National Waterways.

At present, 10 thermal power stations are operational in the proximity of National Waterway – 1. Another 11 are expected to come up along the NW-1 in the next five to eight years with a total installed capacity of 15, 000 MW.

National Waterway – 1 is fully ready to cater to the transportation needs of NTPC and other industrial units for transportation of bulk cargo required for the plants located on the banks of the Ganga. Inland Waterways also has the potential to create employment opportunities for people in the vicinity of waterways.

Besides other senior officials, Mr. Amitabh Verma, Chairman, IWAI, and Mr. R.P.S. Kahlon, Chairman, Kolkata Port Trust, participated in the function.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Murmansk wants to be cruise liners' gateway to Arctic


Cruise vessel at port in the fishery harbor of Murmansk. (Photo: Thomas Nilsen)

Russia is opening their part of the Arctic for international cruise liners and Murmansk is upgrading the harbor to serve passenger traffic.

By Thomas Nilsen

Serious facelift is underway at the central port of Murmansk where the city's new terminal for foreign cruise vessels will open next summer.  The terminal is located a few minutes’ walk from the railway station, also supposed to be totally renovated before Murmansk celebrates 100-years anniversary in 2016.

With the new passenger cruise terminal, new walkways and new railway station, central Murmansk will be opened with easy access to the seaside. 

Development of cruise tourism in the Arctic is one of the strategic targets for Russian Arctic national park, today covering areas like Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya. While the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard for decades has been a key destination for international expedition cruising, very few vessels have sailed the Russian Arctic.  

Speaking at the Murmansk Business Week, Governor Marina Kovtun told the audience that her vision is to develop Murmansk to become the gateway to the Russian Arctic. “The Arctic Harbor project now under construction will contribute to develop cruise tourism,” she said according to the Governor’s official site. 

Cruise vessels' voyages will be developed and promoted to connect Murmansk with the Russian Arctic national park. Arkhangelsk and the White Sea area is another destination to be connected from the new terminal in Murmansk. 

Cruise tourism to Murmansk is today rather limited with less than ten international port-calls annually. Foreign cruise vessels have to stay portside at the remote located fishing harbor because that’s the place with immigration control. Murmansk was in 2010 included to the list of ports where cruise vessels passengers are supposed be allowed on land for a 72-hours visit without holding a Russian visa. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ports may be thrown open to students


If the Union Shipping Ministry’s plan envisaged to bridge the awareness gap between ports and civil society sail through, country’s 12 Major Ports would get new visitors other than exporters, importers, stevedores, Custom House Agents – school students, in the coming weeks.

Speaking to reporters here on Nov. 18 after launching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of Ennore Port worth more than Rs. 2 crores, Union Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan said that he would hold talks with his (Shipping) Secretary, Joint Secretaries and the Chairmen of all Central Government-run ports in this regard soon. He was responding to an instant on-stage request made by Mr. N.  Muruganandam, Joint Secretary (Shipping), Government of India.

While addressing the beneficiaries at the event, Mr. Muruganandam, quoting a Media report which detailed that more than 10, 000 people (mostly students) had visited Chennai Lighthouse in the first four days of opening for public itself, opined that ports should also be opened for school students, so that the lack of knowledge among the general public and civil society about the silent growth engine to any country could be eradicated.

Honestly admitting about his view on ports, Mr. Muruganandam said: “Prior to joining this (Shipping) department, I have not seen a vessel or the port. We had seen a portion of the harbour in fight sequences in many movies. School children should be allowed to visit the ports so that they can improve their knowledge about the port and how it plays a role of harbinger of growth to any country.

Reacting positively to the valid request by senior Shipping Ministry official, Mr. Vasan, while addressing reporters later, stated: “No doubt, it (port) is a highly guarded place. Firstly, we would like to have safety measures in place, before letting the school children to have a glimpse of the port.” A positive decision will be taken very soon in this regard, he added.

It may be noted here that other than professionals linked to seaborne trade, common people or school students rarely get an opportunity to visit port and see the cargo loading and unloading activities.

If the proposal sails through and students get an opportunity to visit ports, it would surely change their pre-conceived ideas about ports and EXIM sectors among them in a positive way, said a senior port official.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Honduras: Computer assists export of fresh tomatoes


Pic courtesy

Stranded at the border between Honduras and El Salvador enduring 40 degrees temperatures, Ricardo Melgar could only think about his tomatoes slowly rotting. His truck was carrying eight tonnes of tomatoes, from Comayagua, ready to be delivered in the central market of San Salvador. 
However, a simple error in the handwritten export documents would cost him time and money. He would have to spend the night at the border, waiting for the customs office to open in the morning so they could fix this mess.

"A single mistake could cost us eight to ten hours. This meant having to pay the driver an extra night and, in many occasions, having to lose the entire cargo," he recalled. Ricardo Melgar coordinates the administrative procedures of 17 small Honduran exporters and has spent countless sleepless nights camped at the border due to bureaucratic obstacles.

All this changed in September, when the Government of Honduras with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) launched a new program that connects three computer systems to streamline the process of obtaining an export license. 
Now, more than 700 Honduran companies that sell abroad can get their permits in a single day. By helping government agencies to more efficiently interconnect, the new system reduces bottlenecks and excessive delays that limited trade flows. 
Facilitating trade and economic integration are very important issues in Honduras, where more than 59 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.
"It's a new world," says Lorena Facussé, president of the Vesta Group, a Honduran logistics company that handles more than 2,400 trucks per month. Up until September, the company needed a small army of people to face three governmental institutions that would write the export permits by hand. The result was that it often took up to three days for a single shipment to be cleared for export. "I never thought I would see these three institutions working together, we are now saving up to $ 30,000 per month," admits Facussé.
Besides reducing time and costs for companies, the new process is also more secure and transparent, since the institutions can now share and process all of the exporter's information in live time. Honduran exporters are now able to enter the information for the customs administration and the environmental health and veterinary certificates in one form instead of filling multiple documents.
"I currently write all the information of each shipment on my computer and all of the institutions involved receive the data instantly," said Melgar. "This eliminates the possibility of human error in the process and ends the uncertainty."
The agencies that have begun to share information in live time are: The Electronic System for Foreign Trade of Honduras (Centrex), the Automated System for Customs Revenue Administration (DIA) and the Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Health Service system (Senasa).
Although there are still some paper documents that need be submitted in person, Ricardo Melgar recognizes that the new system has changed almost everything. His tomatoes no longer rot, but arrive on time, at a competitive price, to the central market of El Salvador. He is g new partners, started hiring employees, and can finally sleep at night.

Ports should plough back profit portion into society

Ports to be evaluated on the basis of social equity: Vasan


The Shipping Ministry will soon start evaluating the 12 Union Government-run Major Ports on the basis of economic performance, social equity and environmental responsibility, Union Minister of Shipping G. K. Vasan has announced.

Addressing the gathering during the launch of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects of Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) here, he said that ports, apart from earning revenues for the exchequer, should engage in environment protection activities and in discharging social responsibilities.

The Minister stated: “Just as the ports have contributed to the growth of their hinterlands, people in its hinterlands have contributed to the growth of the ports. Hence, I directed the ports to set aside three per cent of their profits for CSR activities. Most of the ports have responded positively, and EPL is one of the most active ports in this aspect and constantly doing for society,” he said.

For 2014-15, Ennore Port will take up CSR projects with an investment of Rs. 3.5 crores for capacity-building, skill development, infrastructural development and another Rs.1.5 crores for water and waste management, energy management and promotion of renewal energy, bio-diversity conservation and protection, conservation and reservation of eco-systems under the head of environment sustainability.

“We need to look into gradually introducing the concept of ‘triple bottom line reporting’ or TBL where ports set goals and publish reports in terms of profits, environment-friendly initiatives and CSR activities,” the Minister pointed out.

He also said that Ennore Port’s capacity will be more than doubled from the present 30 MTPA to about 67 MTPA by the end of 12th Plan due its expansion works.

Talking about his visit to Japan along with a Shipping Ministry delegation, Mr. Vasan observed that the Shipping Ministry is trying to seek Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding for the Outer Harbour project of VOC Port in Tuticorin.

He said that he had impressed upon the Japanese authorities about VOC Port emerging as a hub for EXIM trade in the near future.

Elaborating further about his Japan visit, he noted that he visited Port of Yokohama and Port of Nagoya to see the port operations and the latest technologies being utilized in these two ports.

Besides other senior officials from Chennai and Ennore ports, Mr. M. A. Bhaskarachar, CMD, Ennore Port, and Mr. Atulya Misra, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, attended the function.

Seatrade Middle East & Indian Subcontinent Awards

source: Seatrade

United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.) scooped three of the industry’s highest awards at the 10th Anniversary Seatrade Middle East & Indian Subcontinent Awards, held in Dubai on Nov 18.
According to a media release, Ship Owner /Operator Awards; Shipping Company of the Year and Deal of the Year were all awarded to UASC who joined more than 800 of the who’s who of the region’s maritime and shipping industry at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.
Known as the ‘Oscars’ of the maritime world, 29 awards were given to individuals, organisations and companies who were honoured from across the region during the glittering awards dinner which also saw a keynote address from guest of honour for the evening, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman, DP World.
Mr Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, organisers of the event said, “The companies that were both shortlisted for the awards and those that were winners have shown exemplary levels of achievement, in areas such as technical and operational innovation, commitment to safety and quality, social and environmental responsibility, business acumen and development of human resources. Seatrade salutes them all.”
The evening also featured six special awards presented to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the industry in the region and have dominated the headlines. This included the Seatrade Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to Eng Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri, President, Saudi Ports Authority.

Full list of winners:

* The Corporate Social Responsibility Award – DP World UAE Region
* The Environment Protection Award – Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM) PJSC
* The Safety & Quality Award - ABS
* The Technical Innovation Award – DNV
* The Education & Training Award – ADNATCO & NGSCO
* The Ship Owner/Operator Award – United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.)
* The Ship Repair/Shipyard Award - Nakilat - Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM)
* The Port Authority Award – Sohar Port and Freezone
* The Free Zone Authority Award – Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA)
* The Ship Agent Award – Samsara Group
* The Marine Insurance Award – Islamic P&I Club
* The Tanker Operator Award – The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (BAHRI)
* The Bulk Operator Award – Emarat Maritime
* The Marine & Offshore Services Award – Halul Offshore Services Company W.L.L.
* The Classification Society Award - DNV
* The Container Terminal Operator Award - DP World UAE Region
* The Workboats Award -Topaz Energy and Marine
* The Maritime Law Award - Fichte & Co Legal Consultancy
* The Ship Finance Award – Qatar National Bank S.A.Q. (QNB Group)
* The Ship Manager Award – Oman Ship Management Company S.A.O.C.
* The Energy: Oil and Gas Award – Qatar Petroleum Industrial Cities
* Deal of the Year – United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.) for the world’s largest and greenest container vessels newbuilding contract
* Shipping Company of the Year – United Arab Shipping Company (S.A.G.)
* Seatrade Personality of the Year – Dr. Ali Obaid Al-Yabhouni, Chief Executive Officer, ADNATCO & NGSCO
* The Seatrade Outstanding Achievement Award – Khalifa bin Ali Al-Hetmi, President & CEO, MILAHA
* The Seatrade Lifetime Achievement Award – Eng Abdulaziz Al-Tuwaijri, President, Saudi Ports Authority
* Seatrade Maritime Excellence Award – Khamis Juma Buamim, Chairman and Group CEO, Drydocks World and Maritime World
* Seatrade Chairman’s Special Award – Sheikh Talal Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, Board Member (Chief Executive Officer), Kuwait Oil Tanker Company S.A.K.
* Seatrade Young Person of the Year – Salah Ibrahim Sharaf, Director General, Sharaf Group

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sarjak expands its horizon: It’s time to revamp the logic behind logistics industry


Since its inception in October 2003 in Mumbai as an NVOCC, specialising in the carriage of Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC), Sarjak Container Lines Pvt Ltd. (SCLPL) is true to its foundational vision of expanding its services beyond the shores of India. 
Completing its 10th anniversary, Sarjak seamlessly has established its footprints across strategic commercial maritime hubs in a systematic manner. Between 2004 and 2008 the company had expanded its resources in terms of containers, overseas agency network across major Asian ports, human resources and back office IT/office infrastructure.

Expanding steadily, it forayed into Europe and Russia/Baltic in 2009, established a service in the Mediterranean and Red Sea Ports and set up China operations in 2012 and further enlarged its service to the CIS countries, North African ports and Black Sea Ports in 2013.

At the commemoration of its 10th anniversary, Sagar Sandesh caught up with Capt. Rumi Engineer, Senior President, SCLPL, at the Mumbai office and heard him on hot and critical issues faced by the ODC and OOG logistics industry.

Tell us about how the project cargo market in India is currently trending out?

Traditionally, demand has been emanating from heavy manufacturing industries and Sarjak has been heavily involved in shipping ODC shipments for the sugar manufacturing plants, pressure vessels, desalination plants, power projects, float glass, etc. With infrastructure and manufacturing sector getting due attention from the industry and the Government there is major scope for project cargo movement in the country. But we need to get our game plan right on infrastructure availability to meet the burgeoning requirements.

What kind of infrastructure support are you looking for to spur the growth of project cargo sector?

We have a poor track record in terms of tapping the inland waterways and coastal shipping that are 0.15% and 7% respectively utilised, as of now. With close to 4, 400 km of inland waterways and 7, 517 km of sea coast, the river and sea routes are more ecologically sustainable as well as a much cheaper mode of transportation than rail and roadways. It’s economically cheaper to move goods by barge than by truck trailers or rail wagons.

Much has been said and written about the utilisation of coastal and inland mode of transportation especially for heavy cargo, but little has been done to make it a resounding reality. Sadly, it’s all talk with little concrete action. Coastal, inland waterways and road infrastructure should have the right equilibrium to supplement and complement one another for moving cargo to any corner of the Indian hinterland.

The Government should provide a stimulus package, such as the European Marcopolo fund to develop terminals, jetties and berths for priming up the inland waterways. Dedicated berths carved out of the port area for coastal cargo is also a good idea. 

In the current scenario, roadways have to be thoroughly revamped and redesigned to haul heavy project cargo without incidents and mishaps. De-congesting national highways and strengthening roads, bridges and culverts are the needs of the hour to enable faster ferrying of mammoth ODCs and OOGs to their project job sites.

As the saying goes, Indian logistics cost is twice than that of global benchmark and what is your take on that?

Owing much to our infrastructure bottlenecks and capacity constraints, costs are unsurprisingly high and this is not a happy situation when we target higher growth and business in the sector. To be globally competitive as other logistics hubs in the world we should mitigate the cost by strengthening our infrastructure that is dogged by all kinds of challenges. Business environment should be free of unfavourable activities and operational uncertainties like labour unrest as it is the merchant who is going to bear the ultimate brunt on incidental costs arising out of such inimical situations.

How are the West Coast ports panning out in terms of growth and traffic?
When compared to Maharashtra, some of the private ports in Gujarat like Pipavav, Mundra and Hazira are catching up by offering better connectivity, faster turnaround time, labour friendly operations, mechanization, speedier discharge of cargo, etc. It’s a wake-up call to neighbouring Maharashtra to get its act together with regard to port infrastructure including approaches to the port and not lose its business to competitive ports of Gujarat.

How is the manpower scenario in Indian logistics industry?
This is a daunting challenge. Identifying the right man for the right job is a humongous exercise. Large number of unemployables out there point to a fact that training institutes do not hone students to meet the industry needs of international standards. Run of the mill courses do not fulfill the requirements of the industry.We should emulate the training methods and modules from the UK that produces industry sought professionals. Training plays a very vital part in the overall development of our staff and Sarjak lays great emphasis on training staff internally as well as externally. There is a huge cost attached to this, but it is an investment well spent.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

win-win situation for CONCOR & EXIM traders


In order to facilitate both EXIM and domestic consignments at Irugur Inland Container Depot (ICD), Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) had requested Indian Customs for de-notifying a part of the area.
Based on the request, Commissioner of Customs, Coimbatore, has partially de-notified CONCOR’s ICD at Irugur recently.
According to EXIM players, the de-notification would help CONCOR’s ICD at Irugur get more business in the coming weeks. CONCOR has a facility of 43 acres at ICD-Irugur, handling EXIM cargo at present. There are two warehouses having capacity of 20, 000 sq. ft. and 30,000 sq. ft. respectively.

With this de-notification, apart from handling EXIM cargo, CONCOR can handle coastal and domestic cargo also.
CONCOR has 63 terminals all over India wherein EXIM / Domestic activities are taking place and ICD-Irugur has now become part of the network.
According to official sources, with the partial de-notification, CONCOR is now able to serve the industrial belt in and around Coimbatore area for supply of raw materials and dispatch of finished goods for both domestic and international.
To utilize the Custom’s latest order fully in its favour, CONCOR is now proposing to run regular trains between Vallarpadam and ICD-Irugur for committed vessel connectivity.
There is persistent demand from coastal cargo segment for these train services. Once the volume picks up, Bangalore – Vallarpadam trains would also be routed via Irugur in order to pick up traffic between Irugur and Bangalore also.
A senior official has requested the EXIM trade to utilize the opportunity, which would be a win-win situation for both CONCOR and the traders.

Freight costs to Mumbai, Kandla ports to come down sharply


Freight costs for movement of goods from the hinterland in North India to Mumbai and Kandla ports are likely to come down sharply with the commissioning of the Mumbai-Delhi freight corridor by 2017,  Mr. Amitab Kant, Managing Director of the Corridor, has said.

Currently 80 per cent of the freight in this region moves by road and once this corridor is commissioned the traffic will shift entirely to the rail mode, he said adding that it took nearly 14 days for a truck, on an average, carrying goods from North India to reach the Mumbai Port. The corridor will ensure that the distance is covered within 14 hours, he said while addressing a seminar got up by the National Association of Container Freight Stations.

The National Association of Container Freight Stations was founded in April 1994 in the Union Territory of Chandigarh with less than 10 members. The current strength of the association is around 90 members. The association had its annual general body meeting in the capital earlier this month. Along with the AGM, it also organized a seminar which was addressed by officials of the Government of India, including the Union Commerce Ministry.

The seminar was addressed among others by Mr. Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI and Mr. J. K. Dadoo, Joint Secretary, Commerce Ministry. The seminar was inaugurated by Ms. Praveen Mahajan, Chairperson, Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Mr. Kant said seven large industrial centres will come up along the corridor in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana. Four large logistic parks are planned to come in the corridor including the world’s largest logistic park at Rewari in a 1000-acre area. One hundred million jobs are expected to be generated when the corridor is commissioned.

If India has to emerge as an industrialized nation, manufacturing sector has to grow at 14 per cent for at least three decades. Japan’s industrial progress followed the setting up of Tokyo Osaka Nagoya corridor. South Korea also set up the Asian corridor before it emerged as an industrial giant of Asia. The Mumbai-Delhi and Amritsar-Calcutta corridor will spur the growth of manufacturing sector in India.

Mr. Dadoo added that the Chennai Port is seriously hit by congestion since connectivity continues to be a serious problem. It is time that the port administration addressed the chronic problem on a war-footing.

He said as many as 17 container freight stations for which the inter-ministerial committee had given the letter of intent several years ago in Tamil Nadu are yet to take off. The industry must ponder over why these freight stations have not come up. As many as 188 container freight stations are operating in the country.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Krishnapatnam Port: The emerging edible oil hub on East Coast


Krishnapatnam Port is slowly but steadily emerging as a hub for edible oil refineries on the East Coast of India. It has become more evident from the fact that there are over seven firms setting up their refineries near the port and a few more are expected to finalise their plans soon.
According to a senior port official, Krishnapatnam has attained the status of preferred port among the edible oil producers in the country due to the dedicated and quality infrastructure.
The port has laid a direct pipeline without any branches with complete isolation system to the plants directly, to unload edible oils from the ships to the storage tanks in the plants. The port has provided a dedicated berth for edible oil vessels.
The port has a 16” dia pipeline for discharge of edible oils which gives a very good discharge rate compared to any other port in the country.
As a result, demurrage at Krishnapatnam Port is minimal. This feature has also helped the port to successfully complete one million ton discharge of edible oils through single pipe line in FY 2012-13.
According to the latest data released by the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, country’s premier association for vegetable oil industry and trade, for the period from November 2012 to September 2013 (11 months), Krishnapatnam Port handled 1,006, 495 million tons (MT) against 701, 820 MT for same period last year.
While Chennai Port had handled 971, 148 MT in the same 11-month period, Krishnapatnam’s nearest port Kakinada had handled 729, 232 MT in the period.

It may be noted here that Kolkata Port (Haldia Complex) remained on top for the same period among East Coast ports in handling edible oil imports while Kandla Port in Gujarat placed firmly on top among the West Coast ports.
“We commenced the pipeline operations in October 2010 and till date there has been zero complaints,” claimed the senior official.
Besides, the port offers proximity to three major domestic markets – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It also has huge tracts of land that have been attracting industrialists to set up their units in the region.
In its effort to serve customers in an efficient manner, the port offers assistance to edible oil industries to set up their units in the region. As a result, both traders and consumers have benefited by setting up their plants near the port. The port is also offering its rail connectivity to cater to distant markets.
With production units in the close proximity, there is no need for producers to maintain storage points inside the port unlike in the past when they were procuring edible oils from other ports. It helps the firms to save unnecessary costs because of double handling and pass on the price benefits to the end users.
Edible oil business has a great potential in India looking with the growth in consumption at 5 per cent per annum. This growth potential will continue for at least another 10 years due to increase in population and per capita consumption.
The edible oil industry in Nellore has been growing consistently in the past four years due to Krishnapatnam Port.
Almost 100 per cent of the raw materials required for refined edible oil are imported through the port. While crude palm oil is imported from Indonesia and Malaysia, crude sunflower oil comes from Ukraine and crude soya bean oil from South America.
“It is the quality service and the efficient infrastructure at the port that have worked wonders for the edible oil units. The port will soon build a second pipeline quickly in view of increasing volumes of edible oils,” added the senior port official.

Sri Lanka should not host CHOGM


Joint Statement by Australian Greens Senator Rhiannon and New Zealand Green MP Jan Logie:

Contact:   Lee Rhiannon:   +61 487 350 880 and Jan Logie: +64 21038 6101 

A delegation of Australian and New Zealand MPs at the conclusion of their fact finding visit to Sri Lanka have found that the ongoing abuses of human and legal rights are so serious that the Commonwealth meeting scheduled for Colombo should not proceed and that the Sri Lanka government should not be given the chair of CHOGM for the next two years .

Senator Lee Rhiannon from Australia and Jan Logie MP from New Zealand have been on a fact finding visit to Sri Lanka. Both MPs will report to their respective parliaments on their findings next week.

Joint statement from Senator Lee Rhiannon and MP Jan Logie:
“If CHOGM goes ahead and if Sri Lanka is given the Chair of this organisation the Commonwealth will have failed the people of Sri Lanka and damaged its own high standing with the international community.
“Elected officials and members of civil society in Sri Lanka have provided us with examples of massive illegal land confiscation by the armed forces; people being gaoled and detained with regular disregard for legal rights; violence, often involving rape, of women and children with no police investigation of these crimes; and ongoing intimidation of media workers.

“We visited areas where the army is occupying people's land. The homes of the displaced people are now tin shacks serviced by dirt pot holed roads. Many people have been living like this for more than two decades.
Large numbers of women regularly suffer sexual abuse perpetrated by members of the Sri Lankan armed forces. One lawyer described to us the evidence collected about these crimes. In one case they have text messages from Major General Mahinda Hathurusingha to the 'comfort women' he frequently abuses.
"The level of hardship for women and their dependents is shocking. More than 40,000 households in the north and east of the country are now female headed and few of them receive any government assistance if they cannot find work.
"Politicians described to us incidents in the past week where young party workers have been intimidated and detained. One worker we met who had just been released from gaol after ten months was never charged.
"The harassment of media workers and media owners continues. In Jaffna we saw the bullet holes in the printing presses, the computers and walls of one media outlet. Journalists and paper distributors have been attacked.

"Clearly this is an unsafe country for journalists to work as those who commit these crimes have not been investigated or charged. We were left with the impression that the government is becoming increasingly repressive towards those committed to a critical independent examination of events in Sri Lanka.
"If CHOGM events proceed in Sri Lanka the Commonwealths heads need to ensure that their handshakes, talks and communiques with President  Rajapaksa are not used by this regime to claim legitimacy for their current operations.
"CHOGM's presence in Sri Lanka risks becoming an award for a regime accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This international body should not allow itself to become a propaganda tool for the Rajapaksa regime.
"The Commonwealth played a key role in challenging apartheid in South Africa and oppression in Fiji. CHOGM should continue to stand by its own values and principles by working for improved human rights protection and justice in Sri Lanka.
"The Australian Greens and Green party of New Zealand will continue to work for an independent investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by all sides in the conflicts in Sri Lanka, and for CHOGM to stand with all the people of Sri Lanka not with a regime accused of war crimes.
"We look forward to reporting fully to the Australian and New Zealand parliament when we return.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

No more scramble for CDC, it goes online

No application will be accepted in person


Bringing an end to the ordeal of hordes of seafarers swarming the Shipping Master’s Office for Continuous Discharge Certificates (CDCs), DG Shipping has adopted a passport e-governance kind of online application model to ‘individual category CDC’ applicants where an individual can go to the DG Shipping website, log in and fill up the relevant details and take the print out of the filled-in form and enclose it with appropriate testimonials that can apparently be dispatched to the respective Shipping Masters’ Office.

The enabling of electronic submission for CDC and postal submission of print outs obviate the hassles of personal commuting of seafarers to the Shipping Master’s Office with the DG Shipping strictly directing that ‘No application will be accepted in person’, say the industry watchers.

However, electronic mode of submission is not applicable to institutional CDCs in respect of cadets, TMEs, petty officers and ratings that have undergone pre-sea training courses approved by DGS and they are instructed to forward their applications through their Maritime Training Institutes in accordance with the MS notice 18 of 2002 dated Sept. 5, 2002 and 4 of 2007 dated April 9, 2007. Shipping Master’s Office should not entertain individual applications in respect of these candidates.

DG Shipping on Oct. 30, 2013 issued a notification that CDC in the ‘individual category’ henceforth should be applied online. The notification says: “The process of application for such individual category CDCs has been rendered online. A person eligible for such a CDC and who wishes to obtain the same in any of the individual category, shall, henceforth, apply electronically”. DG Shipping has further directed all Shipping Masters, Government shipping offices, to process and issue individual categories CDC as per the guidelines issued for electronic submission of applications.

A candidate desiring to apply for individual category CDC needs to enter the DG Shipping portal and click eGovernance menu option on the left-hand side of the main page and enter the user name and password on the login page. 
In the next subsequent page having indexed menu and sub menu options of Ships, Seafarers, Independent Modules, the candidate should choose CDC sub menu option under Seafarers main menu index. In the following page, applicant should click on ‘apply for fresh CDC (form A)’ and fill in appropriate particulars including personal, STCW, medical certificate, category, fee details and attach soft copies of the requisite documents and press the submit button for registration. Post registration, applicant should take a print out of the filled in application form to be dispatched to the respective Shipping Masters’ Offices.

Similar to passport online verification of status, CDC individual category candidates can track their application status on the same eGovernance page of DG Shipping website.

Checklist and instructions for electronic submission of individual category CDC

Candidates should ensure their eligibility as per M.S.CDC rules, 2001 & DGS orders, MS notices, circulars issued subsequently from time to time, before filling up the form electronically.
The applicants must ensure that they have registered online at DG Shipping website their seafarer’s profile registration.
Applicants also have to update their Seafarers Profile Registration (SPR) in case they wish to update their data before applying for CDC online. If the new data are not updated in the SPR, the old data available in the SPR only will be migrated to the CDC online application.
The declaration and specimen signatures are common to all the applicants, column number is applicable depending on the category of CDC being applied for and only the concerned enclosures appearing there in for the specific category are to be enclosed.
While sending the application no original certificates/documents are to be sent along with the application form except DD and Affidavit. Applicants should submit photocopies of relevant certificates/documents, as applicable, and as appearing in the application print out from submitted online, shall be submitted by the applicants, by self-attesting their certificates and other documents, along with their name in full and date of self-attestation there under along with the non-refundable fee of Rs. 500 account payee Demand Draft  in original drawn in favour of Shipping Master (name and application details should be written on reverse side of DD), concerned payable at city of Shipping Master concerned and should be kept on top of the application.
Copy of valid passport front 2 and last page and entries of immigration stamping corresponding to the sea service is required to be enclosed for applicants who apply in the experience category as per DGS order No 8 of 2013.
The statues of application, duly submitted online followed by submission of hard copies, can be viewed by the applicant.
The status of application with reasons of rejection of application shall be available online and can be accessed and viewed by the applicant. In the case of rejection, no intimation shall be given through letter by post.
Envelope containing the application, i.e. print out of application submitted online, should clearly indicate the category of CDC applied for on the top left hand side on the envelope in block letters.
No application will be accepted in person and applications can be sent by registered/speed post/courier service to the respective Shipping Master’s Offices in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.