CPT attracts new business through coastal shipping
The sustained efforts of Cochin Port Trust (CPT) in attracting new business through coastal shipping mode is yielding results with the arrival of the first ever Ro-Ro car ship on Tuesday.
The Cyprus registered MV Dresden anchored at the Q7 berth of Ernakulam wharf in the morning to unload 345 cars of various makes of Hyundai, Ford and Renault.
The car carrier called at the port from Ennore in the circuit of Ennore-Cochin-Kandla-Cochin-Ennore connecting the automobile production hubs in Tamil Nadu in the East coast and Gujarat and Haryana in the West coast. Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport & Highways was in the port to witness the operations.
The operator of the car carrier is the Chennai based SICAL Logistics, a leading player in bulk operations in many ports and operates a coal terminal at Ennore.
Since car handling requires highly clean berths and storage area of high quality, the port has allotted Q7 berth, and a clean yard of 4,000 Square meter area for storage until delivery to the dealers, which is normally expected in a week’s time.
The official said that the port also offered rebates in port charges in advance towards attracting the business; concessional wharfage of Rs 500 per car and Rs 900 per truck, and 50% rebate in the notified vessel related charges. The port expects to earn Rs 10 lakh per call from the car carrier ships.
Car handling is highly prestigious, and at adequate volumes could be a steady source of income of about Rs 5 to 8 crore per annum to the port in addition to the significant contribution in environmental safety by eliminating thousands of trucks from the road and the resultant emission savings, the officials added.
Kerala is a major consumption centre of cars with annual sales of about 1,50,000 to 1,80,000 units, which is highly significant in determining logistic patterns. Huge car carrier trucks plying on the congested roads dominate the present mode of movement of automobiles for internal consumption in the country, and Kerala is no exception.
Therefore, the potential coastal transport market segment could be strong; 50 ship calls a year with 1,000 cars per call will be required if 30% of the Kerala market shifts to the coastal transport mode.