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Shipping Secretary interacts with the trade on cabotage relaxation at SECC Conclave 2018

In Exim India’s South East CEO Conclave and Cargo & Logistics Awards 2018 ( the 10th edition) Mr Gopal Krishna, IAS, Shipping Secretary chaired an interactive session with the trade which saw the shipping secretary expressing the reasons behind the recent much acclaimed Cabotage Relaxation.


Calling it as one of the biggest policy decisions of the Ministry of Shipping, he pointed out the initiatives the Ministry had taken to make cabotage effective. The Ministry had passed 6 orders relaxing the licencing conditions for the shipping of 7 items: ex-im laded containerised cargo meant for transhipment; empty containers; agricultural commodities; horticulture; animal husbandry; fisheries; and fertilizers.


Besides relaxing the cabotage which allows foreign flag vessels to carry cargo from one port to another along the Indian coast, it also did away with the licensing conditions for chartering of ships by Indian nationals, Indian companies and the Indian shipping registered societies, a sensitive response to the situation that stressed the need to move away from pure ownership to leasing. 


Unless chartering is made easy, India will not have adequate availability of ships. The aim of this policy change is to also see how Indian entrepreneurship utilises the right policy regime to create new business, he said.


He also made the point that in the last 3 years the capacity at the Major Ports has increased by 55 per cent, from about 900 million tonnes to 1,400 million tonnes. This capacity has to be utilised, and it doesn’t help that 33 per cent of India’s international cargo is transhipped at foreign ports. Even if 50 per cent of this volume comes back to Indian ports, it would be good, he said.


Chennai Port is the second most important container port of the country and it will benefit from this policy change, he added.


The other participants in this session were Mr P. Raveendran, IRTS, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust; Mr Mukesh Oza, Group President & CEO, Samsara Group; Mr Ennarasu Karunesan, Chief Executive Officer - Southern Ports, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd; and Capt. Swaminathan Rajagopalan, Commercial Director, CMA CGM Agencies India Pvt. Ltd. The delegates too were active participants.


Overall, the conclave, with a very topical theme, ‘Shipping & logistics in an era of disruptive technology - Challenges and the way ahead’, was a comprehensive event with over 20 top speakers and panelists. The three other sessions of the conclave focused on ‘Today & Tomorrow in Shipping & Logistics’, ‘Digital Transformation in Shipping, Ports, Logistics & Air cargo’ and ‘New Developments & Initiatives by Customs in simplifying Shipping & Logistics’.


The South East Cargo & Logistics Awards 2018 saw the presentation of awards in more than 30 categories to both companies and individuals. And, as always, the delegates were of the highest quality.



SECC 2018 was thus highlighted by topical deliberations, a popular awards function and an occasion for the entire industry and other relevant players to meet and network under one roof.


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