NELLORE: As India’s industrialization and development continues, Krishnapatnam Port is playing a larger role in the Container trade in South India, indicates a new port data analysis from JOC.
Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT) achieved the highest growth rate last fiscal year among Container terminals in South India - an 89 percent year-over-year surge.
KPCT handled 481,716 TEU in fiscal year 2017-2018, versus 255,439 TEU in the prior year. During the same period, total South India container trade increased 16 percent to 4.2 million TEU, from 3.6 million TEU in fiscal 2016-2017. As a result, KPCT represented nearly 40 percent of overall container growth or 226,277 TEU of the South India 578,560 TEU increase.
Krishnapatnam — adding roles
“Krishnapatnam Port is evolving into the largest gateway on the East Coast and the ‘Port of Choice’ for all International cargo originating from and destined to Southern and Central India,” a Krishnapatnam Port official said recently.
A previous JOC study regarding the South India container transhipment market also supported that conclusion, as Krishnapatnam commanded an 80 percent share of the trade to and from the region from April 2017 through January.
That transhipment jump came after the private harbor was deepened to 18.5 meters (60.7 feet) and its hinterland reach substantially expanded through rail collaboration with Container Corporation of India. Other factors that contributed to the robust growth include sophisticated harbor equipment, advanced terminal operating systems, and industry-best crane productivity rates, on the quayside and yard-side.
“Larger vessels can now dock at Krishnapatnam to load or discharge hinterland as well as transhipment cargo speedily,” a port official stated.
More importantly, the privately operated Minor Port, which has a 50-year operating concession, has regular, weekly feeder connections to leading international hub ports, including Colombo, Sri Lanka; Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Salalah, Oman; and Hamad, Qatar.
Looking ahead, the Hyderabad-based concessionaire CVR Group is working on a host of expansion projects. These include a dredging project to increase the draft to 22 meters, construction of an additional 2,000 meters of quay, and a large industrial site in and around the port that conforms to Government rules regarding special economic zones. Port officials said the company has already acquired 5,000 acres and will procure another 1,000 acres as part of its expansion projects.
Given CVR Group’s ambitious plans and sensing new business opportunities, third-party logistics providers (3PLs) lately have shown a keen interest in setting up Container Freight Stations in and around Krishnapatnam. KPCT currently encompasses two berths with a combined berth line of 2,150 feet, an 89-acre back-up area, about 5,000 ground slots, and a capacity of 1.2 million TEU per year.
The company invested Rs. 8,000 crore (about $1.2 billion) in the first phase to create an annual freight-handling capacity of 75 million tonnes (83 million tonnes). A Phase II development is expected to increase its capacity to 200 million tonnes per year, making it the largest port in the region.