Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chennai Port Stares at Uncertain Future

Source: http://www.portwings.in/articlesinterviews/chennai-port-stares-at-uncertain-future/

Port Wings News Network:

Chennai Port, one of the oldest ports in the country and regarded as the “Gateway of East Coast,” is now at a crossroads. Situated in the Coromandel Coast in South-East India, the Port of Chennai has more than 100 years of tradition.
Activities at the Chennai Port, which was lull for decades, turned hyperactive when the port began handling Coal in 1970s for the use of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to meet the power requirements of the state.

After the globalization, when the containerized trade started picking up, Chennai Port was the first to have a container terminal and became a true Gateway of East Coast India with facilities for handling containers, breakbulk and liquid bulk cargoes.

Besides, the port has also played its important role in securing energy security for the whole region by facilitating import of crude and coal for a refinery located near Chennai and power plants located elsewhere in the region.
With the containerized trade picking up, CFS have also started flourishing here and now, Chennai Port has more than 30 CFSes to cater to the trade.


THE BEGINNING OF CONGESTION:
Though the port was witnessing boom in its revenue as well as cargo for years, situation has started to change post-2009, as the port started witnessing frequent congestion of container trailers, which has had badly affected the movement of all cargoes.
Situation has become so worse in one point of time during those days and the liners even introduced Chennai Trade Recovery (CTR) for the delays in berthing at the port. However, the port took some drastic measures and convinced the shipping liners to withdraw CTR to maintain the EXIM trade happy.
Since then, congestion has become a regular phenomenon at the Chennai Port and it has deeply impacted on the revenue of the port. With the congestion affecting the trade, many exporters, who move their goods to their regular clients with a commitment on timely delivery, started diverting their cargoes to other ports in the country.

CHENNAI CUSTOMS & CONGESTION:

With the congestion issue refused to die down, EXIM trade here started blaming the Chennai Port management for issue. However, the management, acting on the appeals from the trade, took several corrective measures like streamlining movement of container trailer vehicles inside the port premises, widening of internal roads, opening of more points for entry and exit at main gate.
With such measures, the port management salvaged its name from the issue and asked for cooperation from Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and the Chennai Customs for speedier movement of containers.
While the CISF authorities worked out new strategies for checking and now it has also been properly streamlined, Chennai Customs, is still unable to place a full-fledged team of officers (for apprising, examining and preventing) at the port premises.
According to sources, the shortage of officers in Customs is the main reason for not able to allocate more in Chennai Port. However, the shortage is taking toll on the efficiency of the Chennai Port.

ROLE OF TERMINALS & CONGESTION:

Chennai Port has two container terminals – Terminal I is DP World’s Chennai Container Terminal Private Limited (CCTL) and Terminal II is PSA International’s Chennai International Container Terminal Private Limited (CITPL).
Terminal I was built in 1983 and privatized in 2001 to CCTL. It is managed by DP World under a 30-year Build Operate Transfer (BOT) agreement with the Chennai Port Trust.
Terminal-II (CITPL )was formed in 2007 as a 60:40 joint venture between Singapore-based PSA International and Chennai-based Sical Logistics Ltd. With the exit of Sical Logistics in 2010, it is now a 100% subsidiary of PSA International. It commenced operations in September 2009.
Poor road connectivity to the port (last mile connectivity) has been often raised by these two terminals as impediment to the growth.However, the trade, which has been blaming the port management for the initial real congestion and the latest artificial congestion, now started pointing fingers on the efficiency of the container terminals.

According to the trade representatives, both the terminals give priority to handling of vessels and it often force the trailers to wait inside the port roads to either discharge export container or picking up an import box. Furthermore, there has been allegation that these terminals maintain the same level congestion to keep on levying different charges on the trade.

ROLE OF POLICE & CONGESTION:

While the internal congestion can be tackled jointly by the managements of port and two terminals, congestion of trailers outside the port premises in the Ennore Expressway is beyond the limit of the port authority.
According to the trade, Chennai Police, under the guise of regulating movement of container-laden trailers on the Ennore Expressway upto Ernavur, often create the artificial congestion. In the process, the police stops movement of container trailers at different stretches and allow them to move in batches, which ultimately lead to congestion near Zero Gate, port’s main entry gate. Eventhough the port management has taken up the matter with the top officials in the Police Department, the issue is still continuing.

LACK OF COORDINATION KILLS EXIM TRADE:

According to a section of EXIM players, early commissioning of the Elevated Expressway would help both the traders of import and export as well as the state government. While seamless movement of cargo round the clock would be ensured with the Elevated Expressway, it will reduce dependency of Ennore Expressway for trailers, thus clearing the road for the full use of motorists and public transports.
So, in the interest of the trade as well as for the brand building of Tamil Nadu state among the international players, who are keeping a close eye on the state to set up their manufacturing plants, the authorities should walk an extra mile to solve the congestion puzzle at one, says the fraternity.

-----------------------------Responses---------------------
"Congestion completely devastated the lives of CHAs"
K.V.V. GIRI











Mr K V V Giri,
President, Chennai Custom House Agents Association (CCHAA)
"The congestion, be it real or the artificial one, has completely devastated the lives of Custom House Agents linked to Chennai Customs and Chennai Port.
While exporters or importers can move to other ports and conveniently clear their cargoes there, CHAs who solely depend on EXIM business through Chennai Port for their bread and butter, losing livelihood to the congestion. An immediate solution to the issue would help the trade and in turn, it will bring back smiles on the faces of CHAs."

“We are doing our best to overcome obstacles”
Vimal-Mugshot









Mr B Vimal, Traffic Manager (i/c), Chennai Port Trust

"Congestion is the real issue and the port management is fully aware of it. Even though our efforts on easing congestion have borne results at times, the issue is lurking again and again. For the last few years, the Chennai Port Trust has been witnessing long haul trailers lined up for miles, sometime upto 20 kms, to get into the two container terminals.
Though the port management is taking several initiatives to make the port free of congestion, due to some external constraints beyond our limit, we are unable to get rid of the issue totally. Though the Chennai Port has 14 gates officially, for movement of cargoes in and out of the port round-the-clock, we have only one gate near Kasimedu.
To overcome the internal congestion, we need more gates to the opened. We appeal to the Government of Tamil Nadu to allow the port management to utilize the gates than can be opened to cater the trade.
It is true that congestion here led to diversion of containers and other commodities to nearby ports. We are doing our best to overcome the obstacles and even plans to monitor the terminals’ productivity to make the trade rely on Chennai Port for their shipments."

Response from DP World (CCTL) Container Terminal:
DPWorldChennai-Logo
"DP World Chennai has adopted progressive methods and initiatives such as the 'North Gate Facility' and coastal road diversion after ‘Zero Ingate’ to enhance smooth flow of cargo into Chennai Port. North Gate facility, not only increases operational efficiency by helping ease traffic, but also ensures safety of the drivers."
"There is perennial congestion due to outstation trailers coming into the terminal without documents that are custom cleared following the same queue as a result blocking others. One of the ways to ease the congestion is to direct the trailers coming from factories to come through 32 CFSs outside, so that containers already have cleared custom documents before they reach the terminal."

Response from PSA International (CITPL):
PSAChennai
 "PSA Chennai (CITPL) feels that in the absence of hassle-free connectivity to the port, the issue of congestion will stay alive. To alleviate the connectivity conundrum, the early completion of EMRIP and Elevated Expressway projects hold the key. These projects, once implemented, will not only the help the port to shed the image of congestion-affected facility, but also help the container terminals to enhance productivity."
"As per information we have, congestion inside the port happens only due to illegal parking of trailers along the already congested roads. If the port authorities monitor and turn back such vehicles near the gate itself, it will reduce internal congestion to a large extent. We suggest placing of Customs officials at the Gate, (boundary of the port) than at the container terminal gates, as it leads to duplication of work as well as delay.
Furthermore, we also appeal to the transporters to send their vehicles with dual job orders. It will drastically reduce movement of vehicles coming into the port either for picking an import box or delivering an export box. Though our terminal has dedicated lanes for import and export vehicles and remains hassle-free throughout the day, congestion inside the port premises affects movements from our terminal."

 “Mother Vessel Connectivity to USA and Europe important”
TEA-Sakthivel-Latest-LR










Dr A Sakthivel, President, Tirupur Exporters Association
"The connectivity of Mother Vessels to USA and Europe from Chennai Port is important for saving of time and reduction of transaction charges. Now, we need to move our boxes to either Colombo or Singapore through feeders to get connected to those destinations.
Due to traffic congestion, the trailers are taking 48 hours to reach Chennai sea port from any CFS, which are located in just 15-20 kms from the port. Because of this congestion, the container transportation charges are getting doubled. Swift action is required to widen the roads from all Chennai CFS to Chennai sea port.
Export container offloads immediately inside of the port. But, due to less productivity in CCTL & CITPL, most of the trailers are waiting more than 3 to 4 hours at CCTL & CITPL gates.
All trailers are in queue for multiple vessels in case of any emergency to meet marked vessel at port reaching of vessel is tedious. Port Authority should give priority for express container to connect marked vessel.
At container Entry Gate incase, if a container does not carry marked vessel documents, Customs officer / Port officer may remove the container from the queue. But now they stop this container till to clear documents, until then rest of the containers can’t move further. CCTL & CITPL are not having two separate road, if two separate road are there, then it would be easy to reach the respective terminal to catch the marked vessel. Our request to Chennai Sea Customs is that cargo registration / admission time to be extended from 12 pm to 6 pm on every day.
On the date of cargo arrival to CFS, Exporters require customs clearance on the same date itself to meet cargo handover date but it is not happening on same day and being followed next day.
There is a shortage of customs officers at main customs and CFS. Due to this, customs clearance on the same day is not happening. The US customers like GAP, EXPRESS, etc.., if the handover date exceeds by a day then they ask for Air prepaid or Discount. Cargo shutout document processing takes minimum 5 days at customs and CFS in case of any change in mode (Sea to Air) or routing (Chennai to Mumbai or any other sea port)."

“It is artificial congestion in Chennai Port”

RafeequeAhmed-Mugshot








Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Chairman, Farida Group & Chairman, Council for Leather Export (CLE):
"For Chennai Port, connectivity is the perennial issue and the exim trade has long been raising it in every available forum. The projects like EMRIP (linking the port with northern suburbs and CFSes), and the Elevated Expressway (connecting the port with National Highways on the western side) are still under implementation.
I, personally and through different forums, had taken up the connectivity issues with the ministers and other stakeholders. But nothing has happened so far and the trade is suffering due to the connectivity issue. Without them, there will be an uncertainty and the trade will hesitate to plan cargo movement through Chennai Port.
What we are witnessing in the Chennai Port now a days is the artificial congestion, created by several people including the container terminals. When the exports are down by 20 %, congestion, if at all it was there, should have also come down by 20 %. But the situation is remaining same here and continuation itself proves that it is an artificial one.
What the trade here feels that it is a ploy by the container terminals (who are losing due to fall in exports) to continue levying more charges on the trade under different heads to minimize their financial losses. Ultimately, the trade is suffering.
Both the terminals should be held responsible for the artificial congestion. Until unless these things are sorted out, Chennai port stand to lose the trade."

“Chennai Port is the most expensive port”

9_A_V_VIJAYAKUMAR








Mr A.V. Vijayakumar,
Chairman & Managing Director, Paramount Group
"Connectivity to the Port is the major issue here. Without ensuring seamless connectivity before the trade, the port cannot attract more cargoes. As on date, Chennai Port is the most expensive port in the country. The port management should look on it more seriously as it forces the trade to move to the port, which is economically beneficial to them.
Time has come for the port authority to take bold decision in the interest of trade. Tariffs have to be relooked in the view of the demand from the trade.
Since the Port is mainly focusing on green cargo after the Madras HC banned handling of coal and iron ore few years ago, I feel that the management should focus on handling more and more project cargoes.
While the port is now mainly into handling of containers through its two container terminals, developing closed warehouses and installing necessary equipment inside the port would attract more cargoes.
Besides, benchmarking the efficiency of the port (and its container terminals) and its productivity alone would give a new lease of life for the port.
If the port is able to convert the demands of the trade into actions, opportunities are there for Chennai Port to regain its lost glory."

"port connectivity is the main issue"
Sugumar-mugshot










Mr R Sugumar, Member of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) &
President of Tamil Nadu Lorry Owners Federation:

"First of all, port connectivity is the main issue that holding the growth of the historical port of the East Coast. More than two decades ago, a project called Ennore Manali Road Improvement Project (EMRIP) was envisaged by the various stakeholders to meet the logistics demand of the Chennai Port. After several years of delay, the project saw the light of the day few years ago. But, it remains incomplete even today.
Furthermore, another important project of Elevated Expressway is still in the making and seen as a dream project among the transporters. Only after the completion of these projects, connectivity to the port will be ensured. And till then, it will be a nightmare for all of us transporters.
For the time being, if the port accepts our proposal it could come out of the outside congestion. The port has huge tracts of unutilized land inside the port premises. We need only 40-50 acres for parking. If the Port management allots such space for transporters, it could ease out outside congestion. It will help all the port-bound vehicles, which are forced to halt on the road outside the port limit, to get inside and parked at the spot.  Such action will keep the main roads free and help the public transport and motorists move freely.
Tamil Nadu Government also has the moral responsibility to support the port’s growth. In my view, both the Container Terminals inside the port must improve their productivity. Due to the artificial congestion, most of the trade had migrated to the other ports in the region. If the port does not take any steps now, it would turn into museum for sure in the next few years. "

 “Congestion is the real issue”
 Naachiar-TCC








Mr Chozha Naachiar Rajasekar, Trustee, Chennai Port Trust
"There is no dispute in the fact that the lack of connectivity is hampering growth in Chennai Port for years. Keeping in mind, the port management along with other stakeholders had planned two connectivity projects to overcome the obstacles in logistics. While the first project EMRIP progressed well initially, now it got stuck due to various issues and it is affecting the trade very badly.
The second project, a dedicated Elevated Expressway connecting the port with Maduravoyal, is also stuck for years. Because of these delays and vehicle restrictions imposed on the Chennai Port by the state government, efficiency of the port is now down to less than 50 %, which is not at all acceptable to the trade.
If the Elevated Expressway projects gets completed and inaugurated for the trade, it will not only provide a dedicated 24-hr lane for the port, also enhance the efficiency by 100 % thus making the Chennai Port one of the busiest ports in the country. There has been also an allegation that both the terminals are not fully utilizing their capacity and their acts aid to congestion.
Land has been a big issue here as the port is surrounded by Chennai city. Since the port need more land, I suggest the port management to go for reclamation from seafront. To overcome the internal congestion, it would be apt if the port goes for an elevated roads inside the premises."



“Unable to determine the arrival of the containers”

Johnson-Fumi-Mugshot










Mr C Johnson, Managing Director of Fumigation Services,
"The congestion at Chennai port is increasing day by day which affects all the port users to a great extent. Exporters and other service providers are unable to determine the arrival of the containers for a scheduled vessel."

“Procedural lacunas affect Chennai Port’s future”

 -A Well-wisher of Chennai Port

"First and foremost that is lacking is the holistic picture devoid of any vested interests. Protection of ones own turf at the cost of stagnating growth and diverting volumes to neighbouring locations is a myopic attitude which Chennai Exim related bodies have mastered. What I feel is with better discipline among various stakeholders and a reconciliatory approach, even with the limitations of infrastructure, Chennai could grow far better.
Lack of proper vision or foresight among stakeholders becomes speed governors that retards to the pace of growth of economy in the region. Each stakeholder prefers entire focus on their concerns with complete disregard to other interests. Though the last mile connectivity to port project which was in incubation for almost a decade was revived and has progressed fairly well in the last few years, it is yet to address certain crucial bottlenecks in the proximity of the port.
 Procedural lacunas – be it Customs, Custodian or Carrier adds to the complexity. Despite the EDI connectivity many of the manual procedures are only converted to electronic media and there is no innovative system-driven solution.
Age-old practice of physical verification of documents continue to slowdown free flow and create congestion. In my view, there could be a re-engineering study undertaken to modify or delete unproductive steps taken by the port management. Such study could be with the involvement of all stakeholders.
Unique to the country only Chennai has the distinction of having a comprehensive trade body – Chennai Trade Coordination Committee – with representation from all stakeholders. Unfortunately, this has become dormant in the recent time. To check diversion of cargo, if all stakeholders can re-look at the larger picture and start acting coherently, then Chennai can easily regain their prime place as the southern maritime gateway of the country."

Editorial: Withdraw the illogical DGFT notification on apple import

Source: http://www.portwings.in/editorial/withdraw-the-illogical-dgft-notification-on-apple-import/

Editorial/ Port Wings Sept 30, 2015:


Without assigning any reason to the sudden action, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade has notified that apples to the country with 1.2 billion mouths can be imported via only one port, which is located on the west coast of India.
It is worth mentioning here that India, which has over 7500 kms of coastline, have 12 major ports and about 190 non-major ports (also known as minor ports) dotted along the shoreline.
Until the notification, apples were being imported via many major ports, including Chennai, which serves as a major centre for imported apple trade in South India.

In India, apples are mainly grown in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. These apples fulfill about 30-40 percent of domestic market in the country, and imported apples fill the remaining gap.

For Southern states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Karnataka, Chennai Port with testing lab facility for food items, plays an important role for import of apples from Far East and USA.
According to estimates, consumption of apple is more in the southern states compared to states in the north and it has helped flourishing imported apple business in the region for more than two decades.

With the apple imports has been increasing year after year and even started flooding the domestic markets as well as influencing prices, Union Government was caught on catch-22 situation.
Though market analysts say the decision of apple import curb on other ports by the Commerce Ministry is a well-calculated move to stop flooding of cheap apples into the country given the approaching festival season, it could have been a right decision had the Ministry allowed any port in South India to continue importing and stopped such imports in all other ports in the country.
People living in North Indian states as well as states in North East could buy domestic apples at affordable cost, as they are located close to the apple growing states.
The same domestic apples are costly in Southern states, as they have to be transported in refrigerated boxes crisscrossing national highways. The action may result in cartelization of the trade, which is detriment to the consumers based in southern parts of the sprawling country.
Hence, imported apples that too via Chennai Port come handy to fulfill the consumption needs of South Indian states.

Hence the trade based in South India is right in demanding amendment to the illogical notification of DGFT that barred all the ports in the country, except JNPT, to import apples
Since there is no public interest in the sudden restriction of the port of import, trade expects immediate amendment to the notification. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Pakistani Hacks Chennai Customs Website

Source: http://www.portwings.in/general/pakistani-hacks-chennai-customs-website/

Port Wings News Network:
The official website of Chennai Customs Commissionerate, (www.chennaicustoms.gov.in)  has been hacked by an anonymous person believed to be a Pakistani.
According to information available and published on a Pakistan-based portal, a Pakistani hacker named Faisal 1337 hacked and defaced the official website of Chennai Customs and displayed a warning “Hacked Pak Cyber Attackers”.  Besides, the hacker also put the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad” on the main page of the site, which is viewed by hundreds of people linked to exim trade from the region everyday.

Though the report claimed that the Customs Website was hacked on Sept 22, it is unclear when the site went down. Meanwhile, the website is still not accessible even on Sept 25.
It may be noted that in the month July, the same hacker hacked and defaced the official website of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Raipur, that was launched just a day before by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch the technological culture in India by the project of Digital India.

Though the hacker did not specify any specific reasons behind hacking the Chennai Customs website, the cyber attack has raised several questions on the security and use of such websites.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Chennai Trade decry DGFT’s Ban on Apple Imports

Source: http://www.portwings.in/ports/chennai-trade-decry-dgfts-ban-on-apple-imports/

Port Wings News Network:
The importers of most popular fruit apple via Chennai Port have appealed to the Union Commerce Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman to amend the latest DGFT Notification that restricted the import of apples to Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Nhava Sheva, Mumbai, alone.

In the Notification No.21/2015-2020, issued by the DGFT under the Ministry of Commerce in the Government of India, apples are allowed to be imported only through JNPT Nhava Sheva alone.

With a view to prevail upon the Commerce Ministry’s “Illogical decision,” the Tamil Chamber of Commerce (TCC) has sent a memorandum seeking amendment to the notification that banned import of apples through Chennai Port as well as other ports in the country.

Speaking to Port Wings, Mr Chozha Naachiar Rajasekar, President, TCC, said, “On behalf of the importers of apples at Chennai Port and members of Tamil Chamber of Commerce, we sent the appeal  to the Commerce Minister Ms Sitharaman for immediate consideration and necessary remedial action on the sudden ban which is affecting the entire South India.”
Mr Rajasekar stated: “The apples falling in 08081000 of ITC, H.S was hitherto allowed import free without any restriction. Now, on Sept 14 vide DGFT Notification No 21/ 2015-2020, the apples are allowed to be imported only through Nhava Sheva port (JNPT).”

LOPSIDED & ILLOGICAL DECISION BY COMMERCE MINISTRY:

The latest DGFT notification, which has been perceived by the trade as lopsided and ill-advised, has put the importers of apples at Chennai Port for consumption by people in and around Chennai, the state of Tamil Nadu and neighboring states into lot of difficulties.
The apples are imported in refrigerated Containers from abroad and it is mostly imported from USA, Australia and Fuji Island.
Without considering the demography of the country and presence of major ports in the east coast, the DGFT notification has said that the fruit has to be imported through JNPT, which is thousands of kilometers away from Chennai, one of the main consumption centre.
Mr Rajasekar stated: “If the consignments are to be imported only at Nhava Sheva, then the goods should be transported in refrigerated container or trucks to Chennai and other places involving huge freight amount pushing the price in the hands of consumers adding to food inflation, which is avoidable. Apples are not grown in Tamil Nadu or the neighboring states and it has to be procured from states like Himachal Pradesh and even there sufficient quantity is not available.”

NO PUBLIC INTEREST IN THE SUDDEN RESTRICTION:

“As per paragraph 1.02 of the Foreign Trade Policy the Central Government, in exercise of powers conferred by Section 5 of FT (D&R) Act, 1992, as amended from time to time, reserves the right to make any amendment to the FTP, by means of notification, in public interest. There appears to be no public interest in the sudden restriction of the port of import. Instead serving the public interest it may result in cartelization of the trade to the detriment of the consumers and to prevent monopoly of particular port in the West Coast of the country. We request that the above notification should be amended and import may be allowed through all major ports having PQ and FSSAI officers. This will avoid escalation of the cost of imported apples and ensure easy availability of apples to all the consumers at reasonable cost,” Mr Rajasekar added.

CHENNAI PORT IS THE GATEWAY OF EAST COAST:

Besides, the importers also listed out strong reasons for seeking amendments to DGFT notification to allow Chennai Port for import of apples.
It may be noted that Chennai Port is the gateway of East Coast and serving the trade of South India. Furthermore, the two container terminals --DP World and PSA --at Chennai Port have all facilities to handle fresh fruit imports of reefer containers.
“The Chennai Port is having a fully fledged FSSAI Office with lab facilities for testing the fruits. The Regional Plant Quarantine Station with full-fledged facilities for testing fruits which is situated near Chennai Port,” he added.
“Due to ban on handling iron ore, coal at Chennai Port, the facility is incurring revenue loss year after year and the recent ban for import of apples through this port will add further revenue loss to the Port and also affect the Custom Duty collections at Chennai Customs Commissionerate,” Mr Rajasekar further added.
With the ban on import of apples through Chennai Port, the large network of wholesale and retail sales involving businesses and trade activities connected with fruit businesses is likely to be affected, concluded Mr Rajasekar.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Editorial:The death that changed the face of refugees forever

Source:http://www.portwings.in/editorial/the-death-that-changed-the-face-of-refugees-forever/
Editorial in Port Wings, September 16,2015:
Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images

The image of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed up dead on a beach in Bodrum, Turkey, along with his mother and brother while trying to escape their country’s civil war last week has not only shocked the entire globe, but also forced the rich European countries to do some soul-search on what lies ahead on the impending humanitarian crisis.
As anticipated, social media, which usually reflects the daily developments with varied perspective, erupted in one voice and hashtag like #Humanitywashedashore and #Aylankurdi recorded flow of lakhs of messages symbolizing the urgent need for action on growing refugee crisis.
Well, Aylan Kurdi is not alone in reaching the heaven through watery grave while setting out on a perilous journey to avoid internal conflicts back in their homelands.
Since Aylan Kurdi’s death has been well documented due to technological advancements in the field of visual and social media platforms, it created the anticipated ripple globally and forced the common people and international policy makers to watch his tiny washed up body as the face of Syrian refugee crisis.
The phenomena of escaping their motherland through boats to reach any shore that could see them first as humans than troublemakers is not new to the modern world. For decades, Tamils from Sri Lanka and Karens from Burma used these modes to escape from tyranny and oppression in their motherlands and settled in neighbouring countries.
And during Eelam War in the island nation Sri Lanka, there were many such boats with oppressed Tamils set out from the island and barring a few, which reached its intended destinations across the Indian Ocean, many met watery grave in the deep ocean.
And more recently, many families affected in civil war in Iraq, Libya and other African countries made their perilous journey into Mediterranean countries on the European side seeking refuge there. Here too, there were many Aylan Kurdis who lost their lives during such journeys.
Well, one have to see the fundamental reason for why people to set out on such arduous journeys, which most of the time ends up in watery grave than reaching the shores. The answer is very simple. In the absence of peace and tranquility in their motherlands, these people take such enormous risks to save them first to secure a minimum dignified life as human than anything else.
The outrage on Aylan Kurdi is more or less nailed a spot in our hearts and minds that we miserably failed in saving that tiny boy, who deserved a decent life in any part of the globe.
Instead of dwelling around the moral obligation to accept refugees in wealthy countries, the world would be a better place for all of its citizens, if the civil wars are stopped once and everyone gets chance to live peacefully.
Aylan Kurdi has sent out his strong message on humanity in strongest possible way to the world. It is time to take it wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Port Wings Maritime Exim Weekly's First Anniversary Special

Visit http://www.portwings.in/e-paper/pw-sept-02-2015/ for Port Wings Maritime Exim Weekly's First Anniversary Special.


















India’s economic growth is directly proportional to logistics efficiency: Ashok Shrivastava

Source: http://www.portwings.in/logistics/indias-economic-growth-is-directly-proportional-to-logistics-efficiency-ashok-shrivastava/

Port Wings News Network:
India’s economic growth is directly proportional to its logistics efficiency, Capt. Ashok Shrivastava, CEO, Allcargo Shipping, has said.

In an exclusive interview to Port Wings, Capt Shrivastava said, “The more connected, seamless, time efficient it is, the more the economy will benefit from it.”
“To realize the true potential of India as one of the largest economies, it needs to be supported by similar path breaking infrastructures, such as ports, especially road – rail – coastal shipping connectivity to ports,” he added.

Excerpts…
Allcargo-Logo

Q. Tell us about the potential of Coastal Shipping in India?

Capt. Ashok Shrivastava: “For a country like India, rising as the second fastest developing economy in the world after China and with a more robust government at the center under the leadership of a forward thinking prime minster, the entire economy is poised to see a surge of fast paced growth in coming years. This advantage is enhanced by our country’s strategic location and with over 7,000 kms of coastline as our border. Historically across developed nations in Europe, APAC and USA the economic activity has always been the result of an efficient logistics value chain of the country. This is also true for India. Logistics is the backbone of our economy and it will play a vital role in supporting our growth in the coming years. Demographically for India, road and rail have been the pillars of modes of transportation. But with more paced growth their development and connectivity is still lagging behind as compared to the demand and supply factors. Thus it is imperative that alternate medium such as Coastal Shipping is looked at in more proactive way to capitalize on this opportunity. Coastal shipping will be a game changer for India, because it is the fastest, efficient and most cost effective medium as compared to road and rail. It is also environmentally the safest. It can carry large amount of cargo which is not possible in rail or road at times. India’s landscape and coastline is more optimum for the mode. It can accelerate the efficiency of logistics within India and enhance our ability as a trade hub, catering to global markets.”

Q. India is projected to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2020. How far can the current logistics infrastructure support this growth?

Capt AS: “India’s economic growth is directly proportional to its logistics efficiency. The more connected, seamless, time efficient it is, the more the economy will benefit from it. To realize the true potential of India as one of the largest economies, it needs to be supported by similar path breaking infrastructures, such as ports, especially road – rail – coastal shipping connectivity to ports. It is of paramount importance to make EXIM trade reach its potential in India. Similarly GST and a single window clearance for all trade leading to imports and exports have to be brought about in our economic system. Best practices in terms of policies, SLAs and technology infrastructure will also play a very important role in making India the economic giant it is destined to be.

Q. What kind of investments in our nation’s coastal sea routes would bring substantial benefits to the economy?

Capt AS: “The answer for this question has to be holistic in nature and needs to encompass the larger vision for the nation. If we want to be the global trade hub of the world, then investment in ports, road, rail and coastal shipping has to be looked as a common thread of effectiveness and policy making. And most important it has to move out of an absolute figure, to be a percentage of the GDP.”

Q. The new government at the Centre is pitching for diversion of more road-bound cargo. How it will affect the existing scenario?

Capt AS: “The government is looking at a more robust and long range solution to the demand, thus they are looking at making all modes effective. Road being the largest medium of transportation, it still has to support about 60 % of movement, thus that needs to be focused on to maintain the trajectory. At the same time rail as well as coastal shipping will also be given the more important focus as well attention it needs to make it more mainstream and bringing the required efficiency in our country’s logistics value chain.”

Q. Will the EU model of Coastal shipping be implemented in India?

Capt AS: “EU represents a very different demography and economic potential. India in contrast has its own unique qualities, opportunities and challenges. Thus we should learn from their experience, best practices and adopt the same for making our coastal shipping requirements and infrastructure more efficient.”

Q. Tell us about the importance of Coastal Shipping for a country like India?

Capt AS: “Coastal shipping will be a game changer for India, because it is the fastest, efficient and most cost effective medium as compared to road and rail. It is also environmentally the safest. It can carry large amount of cargo which is not possible in rail or road at times. India’s landscape and coastline is more optimum for the mode. It can accelerate the efficiency of logistics within India and enhance our ability as a trade hub, catering to global markets.”

Q. Given the renewed pitch for International Transshipment facility in India, how the coastal shipping could help?

Capt AS: “Transshipment is an important variable in boosting India’s stature as an EXIM hub. Once the cargo comes into the country it needs to be moved across the cluster of hubs pan India. Thus coastal shipping will immensely benefit from the perspective of increased transshipment movement into and out of India. In addition to EXIM, coastal shipping will be more effective in moving project cargo i.e. over sized over dimensional cargo which are required for core industries such as power, oil & gas, urban infrastructure, mining, cement, steel, minerals etc.”