With throughput of Containers among ports in the East Coast continuing to
move in a narrow range of around 4 million TEUS,the Krishnapatnam port has
adopted a multi pronged strategy to attract containers and reach a port utilization
of 45 per cent during the current year.
A spokesman of the port said the Krishnapatnam saw a capacity utilization
of 21 per cent during the financial year 2016-17. The port is aiming to hit
five lakh TEUs this year as against 2.55 lakh TEUS achieved last year.
In an effort to attract containers, which is otherwise going to neighboring
ports, aggressive marketing efforts have been unleashed to ensure that cargo
from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Northern and Eastern parts of Karnataka have
an advantage on distance if they switch over to Krishnapatnam port. A campaign
will be on to bring this to the attention of cargo owners from the region.
The port is also offering a price at a sizeable discount to others in the
region as part of its strategy. The idea is to offer a price point which will
compel cargo owners to consider using the port. The port's offer of discounts
would help the customer to bring down the logistics cost by thirty per cent
according to their assessment.
The port is also attempting to rope in large shipping lines besides looking
for new types of cargo. The port's current cargo profile includes cement,
cotton yarn and shrimps besides coal.
Among the ports in the East coast, Chennai port has remained the leader
with two private terminals. But capacity utilisation has come down to nearly 45
per cent during the last few years due to various factors including problems in
evacuation, global economic slow-down besides competition from ports like
Krishnapatnam and Katupalli situated close to Chennai port and therefore
sharing the same hinterland.
Adanis have commissioned a Container Terminal at Ennore recently which will
intensify competition further this year. Ennore port is situated hardly 15
kilometers from Chennai port.
The evacuation problems in Chennai Port have been addressed both on long
and short term basis. Yet the congestion of tractor trailers continues on some
days in a month. On the price front Chennai port has the disadvantage of its
tariff being dictated by the Tariff Authority for Major ports TAMP and hence is
devoid of functional autonomy, unlike the private ports.
With more private ports coming up in the region, it is time that state
owned ports become vocal about securing autonomy in fixing prices. Shipping
minister Nitin Gadkari has been proclaiming that the TAMP regime for major
ports will go for the past three years. But the regime continues putting
obstacles to port administrationís powers to fix the tariff according to
prevailing market conditions.