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Visakha Container Terminal and CFS register impressive all-round performance

The JN Baxi group’s Visakha container terminal’s export turn-over has increased by thirteen per cent during August 2018 as compared to the previous month. The cargo which contributed to the growth included ferro-alloys, steel, aluminium products, heavy minerals and chemicals which grew in the range of 21 to 37 per cent. Sharp fall in the value of the Indian rupee against US dollars has contributed to the substantial increase in exports.

 There has been organic growth, with the increase in production capacities complemented by a strong dollar value for exports following the fall in rupee value during the last one month. Frozen seafood is one product where the growth has been consistently positive. While the US market continues to be the top importer of seafood from Vizag, the South-East Asian market has been increasing too, which is playing a pivotal role. Reefer exports in August increased by 15 per cent.

On the import front, products like chemicals, refractories, machinery and spares, minerals, and metals and ores have increased significantly.

 Rail-bound traffic during August 2018 has been the highest in the history of VCT—46 rakes were handled with 6,584 TEUs. Of this, 16 rakes were destined for Nepal. The first rake to Nepal with containers fixed with Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) was flagged off on August 28. The ECTS enables real-time tracking of the containers in transit. The new process is simple, making it a paperless documentation as against the long processes of documentation currently followed, which results in delay in moving the containers from the terminal.

After the recent cabotage relaxation in May 2018, the yard inventory at VCT went up beyond 9,400 TEUs in June 2018. The terminal took a proactive step by following up with Visakhapatnam Port Trust and getting about 3.3 acres of land allocated in the port area adjacent to the terminal on temporary lease basis for stacking empty containers. This eased up the congestion in the terminal and improved productivity levels. The terminal handled the highest volume of 42,640 TEUs with optimal yard occupancy and minimal dwell time.

VCT achieved the highest ship productivity (SMPH) and established a benchmark of crossing 100 moves per hour on the vessel MV Varada (CCG service) which sailed on the morning of September 5, 2018.

 The CCG service vessel is scheduled to berth every Sunday in Vizag as per the window. However, there was a delay at the previous ports of call, that resulted in the late berthing of the vessel. The Vessel arrived at the port on Tuesday after an overall delay of 36 hours. The delay created a challenging situation at VCT because of other vessels scheduled on Wednesday early morning hours as per their window. Hence, it was imperative that the operations of MV Varada had to be completed before the arrival of the next scheduled service. The vessel had a move exchange of 2,567 TEUs.

Team VCT took this as a challenge and ensured that the vessel, that berthed on September 4,  at 0500 hours, was turned around in 22 hours. There was detailed planning, organising, implementation and coordination by the team, resulting in the completion of the entire vessel operations before the arrival of the next vessel. VCT not only completed the operations on time effectively and efficiently, it was also ensured that the next vessel operations were handled as per the scheduled time. The ship productivity achieved was 102 moves per hour, with gross crane productivity of 26.6 moves per hour.

 The Container Freight Station (CFS) of Visakha Container Terminal, located in the EXIM Park of Visakhapatnam Port Trust, achieved a throughput of 3,103 TEUs in August 2018.

 Although it was organic growth in the existing commodities, some of the export products such as high carbon ferrochrome, parboiled rice, broken rice, frozen shrimps, silico manganese, and import commodities like quick lime, crude glycerin, dried raw cashew nuts, sunflower meal and ferrous products contributed largely to the growth in volumes. The notable factor was that the export and import balance/ratio was perfect, with the shipping lines playing a major role in making this happen. 

An increasing number of Corporates now prefer to avail the services of VCT CFS—the one-stop-shop for all logistics solutions. An additional warehouse of 20,000 sq. ft is under construction adjoining the existing one, which is expected to provide extra mileage to the CFS in the coming months as most of the cargoes, be it export/import, in Vizag require closed storage facility. 

One of the major developments with regard to the CFS in August has been the setting up of a facility for workmen within the CFS premises, thereby offering round-the-clock stuffing/de-stuffing services to the trade.

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