SS: The Ports situated in the West Coast
especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra are flourishing while the ones in the
East coast are working only fifty per cent of their capacity. What kind of
railway infrastructure is required to connect East coast ports with Central
India and the National Capital Region which have emerged as manufacturing
centers of the country?
ANS: The rail connectivity from West coast ports
and their hinterland have improved substantially over the years. It will get
further boost when the Mumbai Delhi Dedicated Freight Corridor is commissioned.
All industrial investments in the country are going towards Western India
because of this infrastructure.
in some of the East Coast ports like Chennai have also contributed to Shipping
lines moving to the West Coast. There was a time when Ninety five per cent of
the cargo meant for Hyderabad or Nagpur used to go via the East Coast ports.
Now one hundred per cent of the cargo, meant for Central India, is moving
through West Coast ports
only way to reverse the trend is to improve the rail connectivity between East
Coast ports and their hinterland.
government is talking of Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor for quite some
time. But the proposed corridor unlike the one between Mumbai and Delhi has no
Dedicated railway track for freight. The same is the case between Visakhapatnam
and Chennai Industrial Corridor.
government is building a Multi Modal park on the proposed Chennai Bengaluru
Industrial Corridor about sixty kilometers from Bengaluru. However the Park has
no rail connectivity. The Park cannot be called Multi Modal unless there is
Rail connectivity issue needs to be looked into if the East Coast ports have to
get adequate cargo. We have taken up the issue with the government several
times at various meetings.
The Direct Port Delivery of imports and Direct Port Entry of exports (delivery
of cargo from the port to the factory premises with Minimum customs
intervention) have taken off in a big way thanks to encouragement from the
Customs. In the changed supply chain scenario in the handling of EXIM cargo,
will not the role of Container Freight Stations and Inland Container Depots
become redundant? Do CFS and ICDs have to change their business model and
diversify into areas like Ware Housing and Cold Storage?
The Government has eased the Customs clearance part through direct port
delivery of imports and direct port entry of exports. The clearance time has
been brought down drastically, to a minimum level. Hence these schemes of
delivery have taken off from major Ports in a big way. The government has set a target for major
ports to achieve at least forty per cent of the total turn-over through DPD and
DPI. Some ports like Chennai have exceeded the target by achieving forty five
per cent last month. The scheme is good for the Client.
some customers other than big clients like Ford or Hyundai, especially on the
MSME sector have space constraints to store cargo. They donít have space in
their factory premises to receive imports directly. Because of this problems,
even Customs cleared DPD containers which could have directly gone to the
factory premises, land up in Container Freight Stations for storage. So there
is a big shift in the pattern of cargo flowing into CFS and ICDs.
not only handle directly imported containers, but also customs cleared
containers which land up. Citing an instance Chennai port handles 45 per cent
of the import containers through DPD. But at least fifty per cent of the
customs cleared ones which could have moved directly to factories lands up at
Container freight stations for last mile connectivity.
the introduction of DPDs and DPIs has not affected the business of container
freight stations or the Inland container depots.
Container freight stations and Inland container depots are reorienting and
reinventing their business models to face any eventuality in future. For
instance many CFS companies have decided to create specific areas, where the
infrastructure for handling customs cleared DPD containers, are created. We are
also adding more ware-housing and storage space within the freight stations.
There are around forty container freight stations in and around Chennai Port.
Logistics is emerging as a major industry since manufacturers want to cut costs
and bring down inventory costs. Since the Logistics costs in India are as high
as 14 per cent of the GDP, What needs to be done to bring them down to
realistic level? This has a direct bearing on the competitiveness of our
The government must take up the development of East coast ports to bring down
the logistics cost. This will help to divert the cargo coming from China and
far-East countries to east coast port rather than going all the way to west
coast ports for onward movement to Central India and Northern states. Such a
move will down the time as well as cost.
port delivery and direct port entry will also end up cutting logistics cost.
Implementation of projects like providing short road connectivity to ports
through Sagar Mala scheme will also help in cutting costs.
proposed eight lane Chennai Salem can also help in containing logistics cost.
Salem which can provide excellent connectivity to South Tamil Nadu, Southern
Karnataka and Southern Andhra Pradesh besides Kerala can emerge as Logistics
hub of Southern India provided net work of roads are built to connect the city
with ports in the region like Tuticorin,
Karaikal , Cochin and Vizhinjam.
advantage of the location advantage of the city, a large number of ware housing
projects have come up in around Salem during the last few years. There must be
an organized way of developing Salem into a Logistics Hub.
whole project should not end up merely by providing eight lane highway from Salem
to Chennai. It is not as if that you go and drop your boxes (Containers) at
Salem. The city should be linked with modern highways to provide connectivity
to Tuticorin, Cochin and Vizhinjam ports besides Chennai. The projects should
be integrated with Sagar Mala Scheme so that there is an overall development of
The government should also set up a Multi Modal
logistics hub near Salem with proper rail connectivity. Salem should be
developed on Hub- Port Model.