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262 meter long Container vessel handled at VOC Tuticorin Port; Signals Game Changer in Container Business in S India says Port Chairman

The V O Chidambaram Port in Tuticorin situated  in the East Coast achieved yet another feat when it handled 262 meter long vessel at its Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal. The longest vessel ever handled by the Port, SCI Mumbai reached the port at the dawn of October 26. The cargo handling operations were done on a trial basis.

. The Container vessel S.C.I. Mumbai which has the capacity to carry 4395 TEUs (20 foot equivalent units) was berthed at the Terminal 06.45 Hrs on that day at the Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminals in the presence of Port Chairman I. Jayakumar,Deputy Chairman S. Natarajan,Chief Executive Officer of Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal Eric Lavenu, other senior officials of the Port and the Terminal.

The vessel SCI Mumbai is part of PIX 2 (Pan India Express) Service, calling Tuticorin at a frequency of 28 days and its rotation is Tuticorin- Cochin- Jebel Ali- Mundra-Krishnapatnam- Kattupalli-Tuticorin. The Service once it becomes regular will provide access to exports from South Tamil Nadu to the Gulf region as well as Europe.

Mr Jayakumar said that vessels with an overall length of over 230 meters with container carrying capacity of 2500 TEUs were calling at the port earlier indicating that port could not attract them on a long term basis. 

The humble start of this trial run with Container carrying capacity of 4395 TEUs and length over all of 262 metres would pave way for attracting more International and coastal volumes and would also induce the main line operators offering services from Far East, Red Sea and East Africa to call V.O.Chidambaranar Port. He further added that these services would be the Game Changer in Container Business in this part of the country creating new opportunities and delivering cost efficient services to customers.

On November One, 2006 Round the World Service (RTW) Service vessel M V Limari, with an overall length of 269 meters made its first call at Tuticorin port offering direct calls to Europe, Mediterranean countries, China and US placing the Port in the international chart of the Container Trade. The Port has handled the long Container Vessel eleven years ago.

At present  VOC Port, the vibrant seaport of South India ranks fourth among the major Indian ports in terms of Container handling. The port handled 6.42 lakh TEUs during the last financial year. In the current financial year 2017-18 the port has handled 3.78 lakhs TEUs till October 25. JNPT in the West Coast and Chennai Port in the East Coast are ahead of Tuticorin.

The Two terminals operated by  PSA SICAL and . Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminals possess a combined capacity of 1.17 Million TEUs. The full fledged operations of M/s. Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminals is expected by January 2018.

In order to cope with the Container Traffic forecast of 3.28 Million TEUs by the major Ports by the year 2025-26, plans are on the anvil by the Tuticorn Port authority to Deepen the Harbour Basin  and Approach Channels to facilitate draft of 15.20 metres (12.80m present draft), Modify the Harbour Entrance to 230 metres (153m present width), strengthen the berths 1 to 6 and convert the berths 3 and 4 as Container Terminal to handle Very Large Container Carriers (VLCC) up to 14000 TEUs capacity.

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