Kolkata Port eyes auto exports to boost revenue

Posted by Daily Shipping Times on 04-12-2017        Tweet

KOLKATA: Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is eyeing a new revenue stream from export of automobiles to Bangladesh using the port’s facilities.

The expectation follows the recent use of the port’s facilities by Tata Motors, which exported a consignment of 240 trucks to Mogla Port in Bangladesh through the Netaji Subhas Docks of KoPT recently. Earlier, the auto major had used the land route through the Petrapole border, which typically held up consignments for close to a fortnight.

“Their vehicles arrive from Jamshedpur and Pantnagar and this [the port] route will take only around a week,” KoPT Chairman Vinit Kumar told members of the city-based Merchant’s Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

‘1,000 vehicle capacity’

Pointing out that this could be KoPT’s new revenue stream, he said that there was capacity for sending up to four such monthly consignments - up to 1,000 vehicles.

“We urge other automobile companies also to avail this option,” he said, adding that this could yield up to Rs.12 crore revenue annually. Movement between Bangladesh and KoPT began in February 2017 when a cruise ship from Phuket came to KoPT via Bangladesh. Earlier in the same month, the first container ship from Bangladesh reached the city from Dhaka’s Pangon river port, paving the way for direct cargo vessel movement.

Movement of goods to India’s North-Eastern States using the India-Bangladesh River Protocol route began in June 2016.

Mr. Kumar said that as part of KoPT’s plans to utilise its landholdings, it will seek bids for leasing out 20 plots aggregating 70 acres.

This is part of the 93 parcels (200 acres) identified for long term lease. He said that the monetisation would be through upfront payments and through rentals.

KoPT cargo handling grew by year-on-year 12% to 24.6 million tonnes in the first half of this fiscal. Its operating income increased 12.1% in 2016-17 to Rs. 1778.2 crore in 2016-17.