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VCT sees cabotage relaxation as a positive development

Aims at becoming regional transhipment hub


The shipping fraternity has wholeheartedly welcomed the recent decision on cabotage relaxation. This is expected to enhance transhipment activity at Visakhapatnam Port. While the Visakha Container Terminal (VCT) at the port continues to witness growth in terms of local and rail-bound movement, with cabotage relaxation it is poised to grow further and become "The Regional Transhipment Hub", emphasised an official communiqué.


VCT now boasts of worldwide connectivity with both mainline and feeder vessels calling on fixed window, the communiqué highlighted.


Container movements from Kolkata/Haldia, Yangon and Chittagong ports are being transhipped either at Colombo, Singapore or Port Klang. This is because only feeder vessels can call the former ports in view of severe draught restrictions. Given the strategic location of Vizag, it can offer this traffic the following advantages over the feeder ports, as per the communiqué:


Geographical location - Visakhapatnam Port is only 329 nautical miles from Kolkata, hence it is the closest port for transhipment of Kolkata/Haldia cargo with least transit time. Paradip will be even closer to Visakhapatnam. A single feeder vessel can enable a fixed, weekly service as compared to minimum of two vessels required for any other existing or proposed hub.


Cost savings - Cost is a major factor in deciding a transhipment port. With VPT extending 50 per cent rebate in vessel-related charges for the feeder vessels, the cost is very low.


The foreign flag feeder vessels can now dip into Vizag Port en route to the major hubs or run as a shuttle between the said feeder ports and Vizag, the communiqué said.


Source: Exim News Service - Visakhapatnam, June 13


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