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DP World launches Kochi-Far East service from Vallarpadam

Friday, 10 July 2015 | 06:54
DP World is trying to give a fresh boost to Vallarpadam terminal with a new weekly direct service linking the Far East to Kochi.

The move assumes significance in the context of Kerala Government’s decision to develop Vizhinjam as a transhipment terminal.

The Far East-based Galex service, operated by a consortium of four operators, will have its maiden call at ICTT (International Container Transhipment Terminal) on July 13. Galex — a consortium of Emirates Shipping Line, KMTC, RCL and Haijin — will be operating 7,000 teu (twenty-foot equivalent units) vessels, which is expected to provide adequate capacity to the trade in this region.

Besides Kochi, the vessel will call on the ports of Pusan, Shanghai, Ningbo, Chiwan, Singapore, Port Klang, Nhava Sheva, Mundra and Jebel Ali.

Shipping circles expects the new service, which starts from Korea, to provide competitive transit time and comprehensive networks.

With this service, Vallarpadam seems to be coming back into a focussed approach on transhipment. The terminal, which commenced operations four years ago, has been struggling to get transhipment cargo. Galex becomes the first Far East carrier service to call at Kochi, creating feeder connectivity to the west coast, the sources said.

With the addition of the Galex service, there will be a total of four direct services with West Asia. The service is expected to help the effort to divert the Indian cargo going to Colombo, the source said.

Additional expenses

However, for Kochi Port, the new service also means additional expenses on dredging. The port has already started maintenance dredging in the ICTT berth basin to increase the draft, as the 300 metre vessel needs a water depth of 14.5 metre. This is expected to incur an additional cost of ₹25 crore, said a source in the port.

It may be recalled that the terminal operator had been demanding 14.5 metre depth in the berth basin ever since ICTT’s commissioning.

To rationalise the dredging cost, the port had decided to maintain 13.5 metre draught and extent 14.5 metre depth only when the shipping lines provide prior notice and adequate volumes, the sources added.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
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