The year 2018 has been a significant one for the logistic and shipping sector in India. Bolstered by progressive policy interventions like amendment of Model Concession Agreement (MCA), revision of tariff guidelines, and the various steps taken towards facilitating ease of doing business, the major ports kept up their impressive performance of the past four years in terms of capacity addition and improvement of efficiency parameters.
To cater to the projected traffic of 2,500 million metric tonne per annum (MMTPA) by 2025, the central government, along with the state governments, is leaving no stone unturned in increasing the overall port capacity of major ports to around 3,500+ MMTPA. A quick status check by INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY suggests that out of 249 identified port modernisation projects, 107 port capacity expansion projects worth Rs 679.62 billion were identified from the port master plans of 12 major ports, and are expected to add 794 MMTPA to the major port capacity over the next 20 years. That said, of the 605 projects that fall under the Sagarmala Programme, 443 projects worth Rs 4.32 trillion are in various stages of completion or development. In terms of achievements, the figures of the last four years speak for themselves. The incumbent government took charge in 2014 when the capacity of the major ports was a mere 800.52 MMTPA. Since then, with the advent of Sagarmala Programme, the government has managed to double the capacity to 1,451.19 MMTPA and has achieved traffic of (up to October 2018) 403.29 MTPA. An achievement in itself! What's more, the government is targeting to award more than 50 projects worth over Rs 100 billion, involving capacity addition of 90 MTPA during 2019. This is against the 27 projects that were awarded during 2017û18 involving an investment of Rs 41.46 billion, where an additional capacity of 21.93 MTPA was created.
The Year That Was
The year 2018 has been a significant one for India's shipping industry. Bolstered by progressive policy interventions like amendment of Model Concession Agreement, revision of tariff guidelines, and the various steps taken towards facilitating ease of doing business, the major ports kept up their impressive performance of the past four years in terms of capacity addition and improvement of efficiency parameters. The Sagarmala Programme witnessed the completion of 89 projects, while 443 projects worth Rs 4.32 trillion are in various stages of implementation and development. The year was especially remarkable for developments in the inland water transport (IWT) sector. The inauguration of the multi-modal terminal at River Ganga in Varanasi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi - the first ever post-independence movement of container cargo from Kolkata to Varanasi on the river - and the commencement of integrated movement of cargo from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Assam over three waterways, Ganga, Brahma-putra, and the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route, have firmly established that the vision of inland water as a cheaper and more environment-friendly mode of transport is fast becoming a reality.
Cruise tourism was another area with important developments like the inauguration of a modernised international cruise terminal at Chennai Port and the launch of Mumbai-Goa cruise service, as was the skill development sector with the setting up of Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding (CEMS) at Vizag and Mumbai; National Technology Centre for ports, waterways, and coasts (NTCPWC) at IIT Madras in Chennai; and the decision to set up Multi-Skill Development Centres (MSDC) at all major ports under Sagarmala, were some of the highlights of 2018.
More than 50 projects with an investment of over Rs 100 billion, involving capacity addition of 90 MTPA are targeted for award during 2018-19. This is against the 27 projects awarded during 2017-18, involving an investment of Rs 41.46 billion, and an additional capacity of 21.93 MTPA that were created.
Ease of Doing Business
As per the World Bank report 2019 on ease of doing business, India has taken a huge leap of 23 ranks from 100 in 2017-18 to 77 in 2018-19 indicating that it is continuing its steady shift towards global standards. Towards facilitating ease of doing business (EoDB), Ministry of Shipping had identified various parameters for reducing dwell time and transaction costs in major ports. They include elimination of manual forms, accommodation for laboratories to participating government agencies (PGAs), direct port delivery, installation of container scanners, e-delivery orders, RFID-based gate automation system, etc. These initiatives have already been implemented at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JN Port) and are being taken up in other major ports.
Elimination of manual forms has cut down long queues and waiting time for containers at the port gate and enabled faster evacuation of EXIM cargo and reduced congestion at port gates. The RFID solution has been implemented in all major ports to enhance security; remove bottlenecks for seamless movement of traffic across port gates; ensure tracking and tracing of man, material, vehicle, equipment, and other assets; and collect revenue as per the notified rates.
A centralised web-based port community System (PCS) is made operational in all major ports, and that enables seamless data flow between the various stakeholders viz., customs, CFSs, shipping lines and ICDs, lines/agents, surveyors, stevedores, banks, container freight stations, government regulatory agencies, customs house agents, importers, exporters, and CONCOR/railways through a common interface. The present system, PCS 1.0 has been upgraded to PCS 1x.
Logistics data bank service, under Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC), for enabling track and trace movement of EXIM container, has been implemented at JNPT and is being implemented at other major ports.
JN Port is the first port to start direct port delivery (DPD) and direct port entry (DPE). DPD has increased from 5.42 per cent in March 2016 to 41.92 per cent in August 2018. In JNPT, the percentage of DPE of export containers increased from 60 per cent to 76.98 per cent in August 2018. Exporters currently benefit about Rs 2,000 per TEU in savings and one to two days in time while resorting to DPE.
At JN Port the dwell time of import containers has reduced from 58.08 hours in 2016-17 to 50.82 hours in 2017-18. The dwell time of export containers has reduced from 88.35 hours in 2016-17 to 83.71 hours in 2017-18.
Work order for procurement of eight mobile container scanners has been issued. Site preparation at ports is in progress. Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) has been done for container scanners meant to be procured for Paradip, Vishakhapatnam, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Kandla, Kamrajar, and Kolkata ports. Procurement of drive through (roads) scanner (Nos 4) is under process. Selection of site for drive through (rail) scanner is also under process.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, which is the pilot port for implementation of reforms under EoDB, has undertaken a number of initiatives for ensuring convenience to trade and reduction in cargo EXIM dwell time. To ensure faster cargo evacuation, JNPT has set up a customs processing zone and a centralised parking plaza, apart from undertaking the widening of port highways. It has also developed a common rail yard.
JNPT has procured electronic RTGCs for increasing yard productivity, besides making ground breaking initiatives for increasing direct port delivery and direct port entry to facilitate trade. All these reforms are regularly communicated to the stakeholders through website update, social media, and regular stakeholder meetings.
Port Connectivity Enhancement
Rail and road connectivity projects are being undertaken to enhance port connectivity to the hinterland.
Rail: Indian Port Rail Corporation (IPRCL) has taken up 32 projects worth Rs 182.53 billion in nine major ports, of which eight works worth Rs 1.75 billion have been completed. In addition, 23 rail connectivity projects amounting Rs 248.77 billion, identified under Sagarmala, are being taken up by Ministry of Railways out of which seven projects with a cost of Rs 24.91 billion are completed.
Further, 15 rail connectivity projects worth Rs 41.93 billion have been taken up through rail ports and other operators out of which three projects worth Rs 520 million are completed. A total of 52 projects costing Rs 446.05 billion are in various stages of implementation by these agencies.
Indore-Manmad Rail Line: An MoU for implementation of the 362 km Indore-Manmad new railway line project was signed between JNPT, Ministry of Railways, and the Governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. The new project will reduce the distance from Mumbai and Pune to key central India locations by 171 km, resulting in lower logistics costs. This is especially significant, as the new railway line will pass through the DMIC nodes of Igatpuri, Nashik, and Sinnar; Pune and Khed; and Dhule and Nardana.
Road: Around 112 road connectivity projects are being undertaken by various agencies. Out of the 112 road projects, 54 road projects worth Rs 221.58 billion are included under Bharatmala programme. About 102 projects will be executed by MoRTH and NHAI and the remaining 10 by state PWD, port authorities, and Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) in coordination with NHAI. A total of five projects amounting Rs 2.68 billion have been completed and 97 projects totalling Rs 1.80 trillion are under implementation.
Port Led Industrialisation
Around, 38 potential port-linked industrial clusters in energy, materials, discrete manufacturing, and maritime sectors have been identified. Out of these industrial parks, one mega food processing park at Satara, Maharashtra (Rs 1.39 billion) has been completed; three power clusters (Rs 765.47 billion) in Krishnapatnam (AP), Ennore (TN), and Tuticorin (TN); eight electronics manufacturing clusters (Rs 17.04 billion) in AP, Gujarat, Odisha, Kerala, and West Bengal; and three food processing parks (Rs 13.48 billion) in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are under implementation. Also under development are: SEZ at JNPT (Rs 126.24 billion), smart industrial port city (SIPC) at Paradip (Rs 33.50 billion) and Kandla (Rs 111.47 billion), and coastal employment units (CEUs) at VoCPT and KPL.
Major Initiatives During 2018
JNPT: The fourth container terminal (FCT) of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Phase I) was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is India's largest FDI project in the port sector involving an investment of Rs 79.35 billion. With this, the container handling facility at JNPT will increase from 5.15 million TEUs to 7.55 million TEUs.
Paradip Port Trust: This became the second major port after Deendayal Port (Kandla) to achieve the milestone of handling 100 MTPA of cargo during 2017û18. During the year, the port created an all-time record by successfully completing movement of 27 vessels within 20 hours - from 06:00 hours on 13 October 2018 to 02:00 hours on 14 October 2018. On 29 October 2018, it introduced - possibly the first time in India -the Mediterranean Mooring Method to discharge edible oil from "MT Delfine" without using the berth.
VOCPT: There was no night navigation at the shallow water berth at VOCPT due to constraints in the available depth. The construction of coastal berth along with dredging near the jetty and approaches was carried out during April 2018. Subsequently, with the lighting arrangement in the berth, the night navigation of shallow water berth for docking/undocking was allowed from June 2018. Vishakhapatnam: Port projects worth Rs 10.62 billion were inaugurated and foundation stones for port connectivity projects worth Rs 6.79 billion were laid at Visakhapatnam on 13 July 2018. They include upgradation of iron ore handling facility at the outer harbour of Vizag port; construction of grade separator from H7 area to port connectivity road, by-passing convent junction (under Sagarmala); and development of 12.7 km road connectivity to VPT from Shreelanagar Junction to Anakapalli-Sabbavaram/Pendurti-Anandapuram road (NH 16).
Kolkata: For the first time at Kolkata Port Trust, cape size vessel MV Samjohn Solidarity carrying 164,928 MT of dry bulk (coal) made a call at Sandheads Anchorage on October 17 2018. The vessel discharged around 1 lakh MT of coal on barges by two floating cranes; the entire cargo being discharged was brought to floating jetty at Haldia for discharge.