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Container cargo: Vizag poised to become a regional hub

Elamancililo Rs. Crore development works

With growing emphasis on promoting transhipment and efforts to set up ‘dry ports’ (Inland container depots) by Visakhapatnam Port Trust in Telangana, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh, Visakhapatnam has bright prospects to emerge as a regional hub for container cargo.

The steady growth at the all-weather container terminal developed by Visakha Container Terminal Private Ltd (VCTPL), a BOT operator, and availability of huge hinterland extending up to 700 km on the East Coast, have led to brisk business at container freight stations (CFS). VCTPL and others are also developing CFS.

Presently, the city has CFS by Container Corporation of India, which is developing a huge container park in an area of 100 acres near the airport, Container Warehouse Corporation, Sravan Shipping Services, Gateway Distiparks, and VPL Integral. National Association for CFS local chapter chairman G. Sambasiva Rao says there are very good prospects for more CFS and ICD as container traffic is eco-friendly and cost-effective.

VCTPL, a joint venture floated by Dubai Port World and JM Baxi Group, set up the container terminal here following a concession agreement with the Visakhapatnam Port for 30 years. The company, which launched its operations exactly on this day 13 years ago, is getting ready to implement the expansion project by taking up construction of another terminal at a cost of Rs.633.11 crore.

The expansion will enhance the capacity by 0.54 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) taking the total capacity to 1.02 million TEU.

The VPT’s proposals for an integrated logistics park near Anakapalle and an Elevated Freight Corridor to decongest port traffic from the highway will promise the much-needed faster evacuation of cargo.

VCTPL registered a growth rate of 16 per cent during current fiscal and is expecting the total cargo to 320,000 to 340,000 TEU during the current year by sustaining the growth tempo. Lot of hopes are pinned on seafood, pharma, alumina, steel and project cargo bound for Middle East, Africa, and Far East.

Connectivity

It has connectivity with Colombo, Jabel Ali near Dubai, Sohar in Oman. Container connectivity has been established with Chittagong and other ports in Bangladesh and Nepal has already designated Visakhapatnam as the second gateway port for export import cargo after Kolkata Port.

VCTPL registered a growth rate of 16 per cent during current fiscal