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20 BULKDISTRIBUTOR Terminals & Storage July/August 2016 India approves transhipment hub T he Indian government has approved a greenfield deepsea port to be constructed at Enayam, near Colachel, Tamil Nadu. India hopes the port will become a major transhipment hub on the global east-west trade route and a dedicated container facility. Feasibility studies undertaken by Delhi showed the new port site has a 20m natural water depth that can accommodate the latest generation of megaships. The project is part of the Modi-led government’s mammoth ‘Sagar Mala’ port-led development programme. Authorities are hoping that Enayam will help substantially reduce logistics costs for South Indian shippers who as things currently stand largely rely on transhipment at Colombo, in Sri Lanka, for mainline shipping connections. Port statistics compiled by IHS Maritime & Trade’s Journal of Commerce show Colombo handled roughly 1.3 million TEU of Indian transhipment in the fiscal year 2014-15, up from 652,000 TEU the previous year. Colombo enjoyed the largest share of India’s foreign transhipment volumes during that year, accounting for 48 percent, followed by Singapore, at 22 percent, and Port Klang, Malaysia, at 10 percent, according to IHS. India’s Sagar Mala infrastructure programme aims to reduce logistics costs as a percentage of GDP to around 10 percent from the current level of 18 percent in a bid to transform India’s economy into one led by exports and fuelled by private domestic and foreign investment. Sagar Mala is centred on the modernisation of the country’s ports and development of infrastructure that can move goods to and from ports quickly, efficiently and cost effectively to increase the competitiveness of the country’s export sector by cutting logistics costs. Port hinterlands are to be industrialised and lead an economic transformation of the country’s coastal regions, which already account for more than 60 percent of national GDP. Because of poor port infrastructure and productivity, India’s transhipment cargo is handled at South Asia hubs like Colombo or Singapore, costing Indian ports around US$230 million in revenue annually, according to the government. This also ends up costing Indian shippers more to get their goods to global markets, hurting the competitiveness of the country’s exports. Given the number of projects involved there is considerable variance in estimates for the total cost of the Sagar Mala initiative. The programme envisages spending somewhere between $10 billion and $11 billion on port upgrades over the coming five years, adding up to 1,500 million tonnes a year in capacity and the development of several new greenfield ports. A further $3 billion or so is to be spent on dozens of last mile port-rail links. Funding for Sagar Mala projects is to come largely from the private sector, both foreign and domestic, on a public-private partnership basis. At an investment conference in Mumbai in April 140 PPP contracts, worth around $13 billion for port and connecting infrastructure development, were signed. However, Turloch Mooney, global ports editor for IHS Maritime & Trade, reckons political risk is probably the most daunting obstacle the programme faces as this can make it difficult to attract the right investors and prevent the successful delivery of projects. India wants to reduce dependence on ports like Sri Lanka’s Colombo (pictured) for transhipment Ghent on a roll 15-17 NOVEMBER 2016 AHOY ROTTERDAM Organised by: Follow us on: YOUR PLATFORM IN EUROPE TO MEET THE GLOBAL CONTAINER SHIPPING INDUSTRY Bringing together professionals from the following areas: B elgium’s Port of Ghent registered an absolute record in seaborne cargo traffic in the second quarter of 2016, while inland cargo traffic also improved. Ghent port registered a total of 12.7 million tonnes in the second quarter, 3.8 percent (500,000 tonnes) more than in the same period last year owing to an increase in both seaborne and inland tonnage. For seaborne cargo, this was the best quarter ever: some 7.3 million tonnes, a 4.8 percent rise. Inland navigation reached almost 5.4 million tonnes, up 2.5 percent. The agreement that was concluded at the end of 2015 between stevedores and trade unions concerning dock labour for inland navigation already had its effect in the first quarter and now also in the second quarter. In the latest quarter, a strong rise was recorded in petroleum and chemical products, which doubled in volume. A decrease was noted for crude minerals and building materials and for solid mineral fuels, among other categories. For inland navigation, there was clearly more traffic of, among other things, fertilisers, petroleum products and crude minerals and building materials. Inland traffic of agricultural products decreased, as well as that of chemical products, metallurgical products and solid mineral fuels. Over the first six months of this year, total cargo reached 25.3 million tonnes, the second best half-year ever. At the same time the half-year registered a record for the handling of breakbulk, conventional general cargo and liquid bulk. As for seaborne cargo traffic, 74 percent of the transhipment was for imports and 26 percent for exports. Transport of goods by rail has increased to over 10 percent of total hinterland movements, the port company says. Inland na vigation transport takes up just more than half of hinterland transport, which is also a record, while the share of road transport continues to decrease. Ghent Port Company has been focusing on rail for several years now. The port is a hub for two European rail corridors: Rotterdam to Marseille (the RFC2) and over the Alps up to Italy (the RFC1). Moreover, the majority of quays are equipped with rail tracks. Lately, a rail line has been installed between the recently opened Distrilog distribution centre at the WDPort of Ghent Logistic Park and the container terminal at the Kluizendok. Every day, a container train leaves from the Kluizendok to the North Italian city of Mortara near Milan. For more information please call +44 (0)20 701 75112 www.intermodal-events.com Ghent registered an absolute record in seaborne cargo traffic in the second quarter of 2016