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VCT – Emerging Transshipment Hub on the East Coast of India

Wednesday, 25 September 2019 | 00:00

Visakha Container Terminal (VCT), is located centrally and strategically on the East Coast of India between Kolkata and Chennai. The Terminal handled over 0.45 million TEUs during FY 18-19 and is on the verge of crossing the 0.5 million TEUs mark in FY 19-20, thanks to a steady growth in traffic to/from adjoining areas at a progressive rate of 16% complemented with inbound and outbound rail movement from/to the hinterland and also Transhipment. VCT has the capability to handle large volumes of container transhipment traffic as compared to all the other ports on the East Coast because of its locational advantages, depth of 16.5m, weekly main line and feeder service calls.

The operations of VCT started from June 2003 with only feeder vessels that plied between Vizag – Singapore & Colombo while the local volumes at the terminal grew at a steady pace. The transshipment volumes commenced with the main line services that started calling the terminal thereby providing the much sought global connectivity from Visakhapatnam. VCT thus became the local transshipment hub primarily catering to Kolkata which is a riverine port and Paradip.

Keeping this growth in view, Visakhapatnam port was identified in the National Maritime Agenda 2010:2020 to be developed as a transhipment hub. The Transhipment volumes at VCT grew at a remarkable rate of 148% in FY 19 over FY 18. With the continuous growth in transhipment volumes and with the patronage from various lines like RCL, WHL, Evergreen Shipping, Samudera, Global Feeders and NVOCCs, the growth rate in FY 20, as compared to FY 19, for Apr – Aug is at 188% and is expected to rise further – with increased participation from other lines who are actively exploring VCT to be their partners in progress.

In terms of service profile and sectoral coverage VCT has 3 services namely, FME, CHX and MDM services towards the East, which feature major Main Line operators such as Maersk, Cosco, CMA-APL, Wan Hai, RCL, KMTC, TSL and feeder service providers such as Feeder Tech and BTL that cater to volumes towards South East Asia & Far East. To the Arabian Gulf Evergreen and Global Feeders operate the CCG service while Far Shipping connects VCT to Colombo. In terms of connectivity for Indian Coastal Services, Shreyas and Samudera link VCT to Kolkata & Haldia. Further some of these services have other Indian port calls such as Krishnapatanam, Cochin etc on their schedule. The latest development is the announcement of a new direct service to Mediterranean and Europe which will also bring connectivity with Africa and the Americas from VCT thereby making VCT a terminal with True Global Coverage to assist the Trade in the region
VCT, with proximity to the other hub and spoke ports and its own origin & destination cargo, is excitingly poised to become the preferred Regional Transhipment Hub on the East Coast of India. The commercial benefits (discounts on Vessel Related Charges) offered by Visakhapatanam Port Trust makes the product even more attractive, sustainable and competitive in the long run by being the Gateway to the East for both Northern and Southern regions extending right upto Bangladesh and even Myanmar as an ideal Gateway in the Upper Bay of Bengal.
Source: VCT

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