NCX service from China via Singapore to Vallarpadam soon
V. Sajeev Kumar
Kochi Nov. 16: Close on the heels of the introduction of weekly direct service to Europe, another mainline vessel – NCX service - connecting China via Singapore is all set to call at ICTT Vallarpadam from November 27.
The service is jointly run by Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Mitsui OSK Line (MOL). This will help in reducing the transit time to global markets without the uncertainty of missing connections at Colombo. The exporters and importers will also have a saving in the total transaction cost, the sources in the port said.
It may be recalled that the NEMO/EAX Service, a mainline service to Europe jointly run by CMA CGM and Hapag Lloyd had started calling at ICTT from November 14.
Seeking relaxation of the Cabotage Law for the benefit of the trade in this part, the sources pointed out that the mainline vessels could transport cargo directly between Indian ports and avoid calling international ports for goods within the country.
For instance the NEMO service to Europe calls Chennai and Colombo before calling Kochi from where it directly sails to Europe.
Customers in the hinterland such as Coimbatore, Tirupur and Bangalore would benefit in transit time saving to Europe.
The vessel could have omitted Colombo and directly call Kochi after Chennai, but due to the issue on Cabotage, the vessel needs to still call Colombo to collect the containers from Kolkata and Vizag, the sources said.
Rise in export traffic
Meanwhile, ICTT has registered a 33 per cent increase in export traffic as well as a 21 per cent rise in container throughput in October compared to the same period last year.
The container throughput was 31,000 TEUs in October and the export traffic was 12,000 TEUs during the period.
According to the figures available with the Kochi port, the total volume of container traffic between April and October stands at 2.14 lakh TEUs compared to 1.97 lakh TEUs during the same period in 2010, a growth of 7.58 per cent.
The increase in throughput is because of the cargo diversion from markets such as Bangalore, Pollachi, Tirupur, Karur in the recent period due to the congestion and other logistics issues witnessed in neighbouring ports.
The minimum deviation from the East–West trade route and international standards in the terminal has motivated more shipping lines to opt to call at ICTT, the sources said.
The terminal has also witnessed increase in the rail traffic specifically from ICD Bangalore, which continues to rise steadily, both in number of trains and volume handled/train.
The number of trains had gone up to 20 trains a month in October from four. Concor, which has a weekly service at an average of trains a week has helped raise the volumes handled by 54 per cent.