Sagar Sandesh: The Satellite port for Chennai at Puducherry has not taken off
though the project has been talked about for more than two years. When will the project take-off?
S. Narasimhan: Puducherry is not conceived as a full-fledged port. Barges used to
carry cargo to ships anchored outside the port. Now dredging of the port to a
limited depth is being undertaken. The work has not been completed as yet. It
would take at least six months to one year to complete the dredging project.
The port with limited depth will then be commissioned.
We had a trial run of a ship carrying containers from Chennai to
Puducherry a few months ago. It was
successful. Once the project is commissioned it will decongest the Southern
Highway linking Chennai with Puducherry.
Thousands of boxes move by road from Puducherry to Chennai port now.
About ten thousand boxes (containers) move every month from Puducherry
to Chennai port. They now move by road. After the commissioning of the
Puducherry Satellite port the containers will now go through the coastal route
and be loaded into the ships directly in Chennai port. In the return voyage the
ship will take containers meant for Puducherry and south Tamil Nadu to the
satellite port. The customs formalities will be completed at Puducherry itself,
so that containers could be directly loaded into ships in Chennai port.
the benefit of the readers.
of the interview with S Narasimhan, Vice President Sattva Logistics Chennai.
Shipping industry is going through consolidation phase because of the price
wars unleashed by them. The price wars they let loose to capture the market has
led them to the present situation where they are forced to go in for
consolidation. I hope the Logistics industry should not fall a prey to the
price war and get into the same situation as the shipping industry.
has also done some good to the industry. Everyone in the industry talks of size
of the company. As long as the size of the company is huge, you have the right
and the authority to run the company in a better fashion.
A Lot of shipping companies are downsizing
their units in an effort to cut costs. Multiple offices they were running
various parts of the world have been reduced. There has been reduction in
manpower in the industry. Logistics segment will soon emulate the shipping
industry in terms of consolidation and the industry will settle down.
Direct Port Delivery of Imports and Direct Port Entry of Exports introduced by
the Government as part of ease of doing business for the trade is expected to
play a major role in the way the Logistics industry will run in the EXIM cargo
side of the country. It will also have an impact on the transportation sector
which is currently run on a traditional basis without scientific approach.
India still Eighty five per cent of movement of goods is done through Roads.
The time has come when government and other stakeholders in the Logistics
industry look at converting the cargo moving by road on to trains and the
coastal shipping segment.
latest decision of the Shipping Ministry to permit Indian cargo to be carried
by foreign vessels will pave the way for increased movement of non EXIM cargo
through coastal sector. This will also help the development of ports in the
East Coast. He saw a great potential in movement of coastal cargo from East
the trade war being unleashed by the United States against China and other
countries, he said it will have a great impact on India, since it is caught
between the two economic giants. India is
therefore forced to have a re-look at the duty structure on goods
manufactured in United States and China. There will however be little impact on
the movement of goods because of the trade war. The impact will be more
structured and organized.
the imbalance in port traffic between the Ports in the West and East Coast he
said the Railway Connectivity to West Coast Ports from Central India, National
Capital Region and Northern India, the manufacturing base of the country have
improved over the year and will become even
better with the commissioning of Mumbai Delhi Dedicated Rail Freight
Corridor next year,
were times when 95 per cent of cargo meant for Hyderabad or Nagpur used to go
from Chennai Port. At present 100 per cent of the cargo meant for Central India
and Hyderabad are moving through JNPT and Mundra Ports because of the better
Rail connectivity. The only way to increase the traffic throughput of East
Coast ports is through improving the rail connectivity.
Chennai-Bengaluru and Chennai-Visakhapatnam Industrial Corridor has no railway
component. Karnataka government is putting up a Multi Modal Park, about 60
kilometers from Bengaluru without rail connectivity. Without rail connectivity,
the project cannot be called a Multi Modal Logistics Park. I donít know how far
this project will be successful.
the lack of adequate rail connectivity to east coast ports he said we have
taken up the matter with successive central government in various meetings. We
raise the issue in every meeting we have with them he said.
introduction of direct port delivery and direct port entry aimed to bypass
container freight stations has not affected the business of the freight
stations. Instead nearly 45 per cent of the customs cleared DPD cargo at
Chennai Port land up in container freight stations for last mile connectivity.
scale importers and MSMEs do not have adequate space in their factories to
store and hence they prefer to keep the customs cleared DPD cargo at container
the existing Container Freight Stations are reorienting and reinventing their
business models to cope with the situation. We have created specific areas
within the station to store the DPD containers. We are also adding more space
for storage and ware housing inside the CFS.
ways and means to reduce the Logistics cost which is as high as 14 per cent of
the GDP in India, he said development of rail connectivity to East coast ports
and movement of goods through trains will considerably bring down the Logistics
cost in the country.
Direct Port Delivery of Imports and Direct Port Entry of Exports are good
initiatives of the government to bring down the Logistics cost.
proposed construction of eight lane highway between Chennai and Salem is a
first concrete step to make Salem, a Multi Modal Logistics Hub of Southern
has the location advantage of being situated in close proximity to South Tamil
Nadu, Kerala, Southern Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh besides Chennai. Ware
housing business has taken off in a big way in and around Salem in the last few
years taking advantage of the location.
there must be an organized attempt by the government to develop Salem as the
Multi Modal Logistics hub of Southern India. The government should not end with
the construction of the eight lane highway. A net-work of modern highways needs
to be constructed to connect Salem with Tuticorin, Karaikal, Cochin Ports and
the proposed Vizhinjam transshipment terminal. Salem needs to be developed on
Hub and Port model.
on the statement by an official of a container terminal that India needs more
cargo and better rail connectivity between ports and hinterland and not new
ports he said he agreed with his contention. The container terminal chief would
have emphasized on containerization of cargo as large volume of Indian cargo
remains bulk. They need to be containerized so that transportation is quick,
When containerized quality of the goods transported are not affected. More
facilities should be created for the trade in the hinterland including Inland
government is currently encouraging setting up of more Inland Container Depots
and have stopped issuing fresh licenses for Container Freight Stations around
Chennai, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Mundra and JNPT Ports.
Krisnapatnam port has made success in transshipment of cargo during the last
two years and Chennai port is about the enter the business, both the ports are
not meant to be transshipment hubs since they are not near the international
shipping lanes like Vizhinjam or Colachel.
chronic issue of Road congestion in Chennai port was not attended to over a
decade by successive governments. Had the EMRIP road project intended to
provide six lane road connectivity between Chennai and Ennore ports implemented
ten years ago, Chennai port would have been ahead of JNPT or Mumbai.
lines started skipping Chennai port when congestion resulted in delay of 48 to
72 hours for delivery of cargo. Industries were reluctant to invest in Southern
India when a robust port like Chennai was hit by congestion.
situation in Chennai has improved since the commissioning of EMRIP project,
Container delivery and intake of exports into the port at present does not take
more than eight hours on an average, The Elevated corridor project between
Chennai Port and Maduravoyal which was stalled for the past five years is about
present chairman of the Chennai port Raveendran who belongs to the Railway
Services has initiated several measures to improve the rail connectivity to the
Port will soon become a Ultra Modern Container Port.
Puducherry Satellite Port project conceived to decongest Chennai Port will take
off in Six months to One year once the dredging work at the Puducherry port is
completed. The Puducherry industrial belt provides nearly ten thousand
containers per month to Chennai Port which are currently moved b y road. Once
the project takes off, the containers, after cleared by Customs at Puducherry
port itself can move directly to the ships in Chennai port.
project will decongest the highway leading to Chennai from the Union territory.