Gateway Distriparks setting up container freight station at ICTT Vallarpadam
V. Sajeev Kumar
Kochi, Jan 17: To tap the trade opportunity at ICTT (International Container Transshipment Terminal) Vallarpadam, Gateway Distriparks (Kerala) Ltd is setting up a container freight station in the vicinity of the terminal to facilitate exim trade in the region.
The first phase of the project will be operational in a month’s time at the 6.5 acres taken on lease from the Kochi Port for a period of 30 years.
Mr M.P. Pinto, Chairman, GDKL, told Business Line that the company has invested around Rs 25 crore which included the upfront fee given to the port for the lease of the land. The second phase will be ready by August, he said.
Storage, warehousing facilities
The proposed CFS will have warehousing facilities measuring approximately 25,000 sq ft and storage facilities for around 1,000 TEUs. It will also provide for a separate area which will permit Customs authorities to inspect cargo on wheels.
These combined facilities, along with the CFS’s proximity to ICTT, will primarily help in lowering the transaction costs for importers and exporters and strengthen the trade, he said.
Gateway Distriparks (Kerala) is a joint venture between the container logistics company Gateway Distriparks Ltd and the Kochi-based Chakiat Group with 60 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively. GDL is the largest player in the container logistics industry with container freight stations at Mumbai, Chennai, Vizag and rail linked inland container depots at Gurgaon and Ludhiana.
Mr Pinto, who was the former Shipping Secretary, said that the Vallarpadam Terminal offers tremendous opportunities for Kochi to set up more number of CFSs in the region, as at present there is only one CFS in the private sector and another one operated by Kochi Port in Willingdon Island to cater to the trade.
He pointed out that JNPT has 22 CFSs, Chennai Port has 24 and Tuticorin Port with 12. GDKL has also plans to set up one more CFS at Kalamassery near here where it has acquired 22 acres. The facility will be developed depending on the response from Vallarpadam CFS, he added.
He was of the view that the State Government should also extend all possible help like extending financial support to interested parties, who are willing to set up container freight stations in the region.
Stressing the need for a hassle-free movement of cargo from hinterland to the port, he suggested proper maintenance of highways, widening of roads and also steps to avoid delays at check posts for exim cargo.