How Vizhinjam port will support India’s economic growth

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How Vizhinjam port will support India’s economic growth

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Vizhinjam is a natural port with highest depth in the region and which enables berthing in the Port itself. Mother ships of any dimension have direct port accessibility. With the commissioning of the port, there offers easy import and export of raw materials and finished products directly from the Port. This enables the offing entrepreneurs to venture into new production streams with the appropriate, policy, facilitation and promotional intervention by the government. Already there is availability of enough land, infrastructure, skilled Labour, capital pooling and risk tolerant entrepreneur community. The Indian agricultural industry is in saturation to absorb more workforces. As such, further opportunities in the sector are limited. Accordingly, the next possible sector is the Industrial part and along with the advancement tertiary sector. 

Further, it is expected that an economically sizeable share of cargo movement shifts from the neighboring overseas ports to Vizhinjam. Along with the anticipated regional growth by way of expected growth in the secondary and tertiary sector together with the enhanced Cargo movements, more ships are expected to anchor at Vizhinjam and the following economic activities are envisaged.

a) Local development on account of Secondary sector.

b) Development in the Tertiary sector on account of increased crew and passenger movement and import and export activities. At least 20% of the inward Cargo is expected to be gateway cargo. As this Cargo is already being imported into India and there is only a destination change, no growth in the Indian Economic activity is projected.

c) Development of export oriented industries in and around the Port area.

d) Hotel, Tourism and connected industries, Crew movements etc.

e) Fuelling, Ship repairs and servicing, Certifications related jobs.

f) Port fees and Bert Charges.

g) Food and amenities for the ongoing leg of Vessel.

h) More foreign Exchange revenue by way of transshipment.     

The Container operations in India have started from year 1969. However, at no point of time, the capacities were not at ball fully explored. The total container operational capacity during the year 2019 was for 28.65 Million TEUS whereas the availed capacity is only to the extent of 16.99 Million TCUS. There is a wide mismatch on the capacity and usage. The capacity will further increase with the commissioning of Vizhinjam port. There must be focus on Container cargo practices and global marketing without which this highly lucrative trade sector can be fully explored. 

Colombo port has shared 42% of Indian relayed freight which is a major opportunity lost for the country.

Advantages of Vizhinjam: Proximity to the international shipping channel is the prime most advantage of Vizhinjam port offering easy accessibility for ships. On the operational part, the depth of sea at the port site is 22 meters which is the gift of nature and ships of any dimension can be berthed as the sea depth requirement for berthing ULVCC in any port is only 17 meters. As the port is being built of late only, the induction of the most modern technology is applied. Already there existed a natural fishing port and this sets an ecological backdrop of the area for quick adaptability to the Port culture. Already a mega port is operated at Cochin and the state is well designed and equipped in the operational part and a skilled workforce is readily available which needs to be further expanded and skill wise fine-tuned. The state is self-sufficient on power requirement and in case of shortages, standing supply ties are in place with other states. This guaranteed unabated power supplies. The port operates jointly by state government and private participation on pre-determined sharing basis, which will combine the advantages of government machinery and private management excellence. The port is also at a stone throw distance from the State Capital which reduces the jinx of administrative complexities and timely attention. There is already developed road accesses which could easily be further developed. As the container movement at Colombo is getting fast saturated, there is an advantage of a good shift of business to Vizhinjam.     

Vizhinjam will eventually emerge as the best transshipment Hub in the region. The port is remarked for its natural advantage of having a minimum littoral drift. Vizhinjam Port is proximate to the international Navigation Channel which again is close to the Indian Customs Waters. This makes Vizhinjam at an easily accessible position for International voyagers. The distance by sea to Cochin Port from Vizhinjam is 176 NM, the same from Tuticorin is 91 NM and from Colombo port, it again is 176 NM. Vizhinjam also harbours major shipping route to Suez Canal, Middle East, Europe, Far East, Africa, China, Malaysia etc. All these adds to the advantage of Vizhinjam port.

Port activities at a glance: The major activities in the Port are as follows.

• Import of Cargo

• Export of Cargo

• Container stuffing

• Loading and Unloading

• Transport and Trailer Operations

• Customs Certifications

• Inspections and Fee Collections

• Warehousing

• Port Services

• Immigration activities

• Boat services to Mother Vessel

• Inland Container Services

• Ship Fuelling

• Ship repairs & Services

• Crew Handling

• Cruise terminal

Different employment opportunities related to port / logistics and customs and maritime law: Following are some of the job opportunities in the maritime industry which is not exhaustive.

• CHA certifications

• Import & Export documentation and clearing

• Hotel Services

• Crew handling and transportation

• Warehousing

• Container rentals

• Inland Container terminal usages

• Warehousing

• Loading & Unloading

• Transportation and Trailering

• IT services – Software and Hardware

• Cruise income

• Ship repairing

• Ship Fuelling

• Sailing and fitness certifications

• Logistic Parks

• Industrial Parks

• Free Trade Zone

• Immigration related work

• Inland Container Depot

• Job related to the Director General of Foreign Trade – mainly applications and certifications

• Also, there will be requirement for many coordinated activities with FICCI, Industrial departments, with Planning Board, Chamber of Commerce, representatives of Port users etc. which will yield many documentation and negotiation related skilled job opportunities on an ongoing basis. 

Exporting Cargo of India: Major exports from India are as follows.

• Mineral fuels including oil.

• Gems and precious metals.

• Machinery including Computers.

• Vehicles.

• Organic Chemicals.

• Pharmaceuticals.

• Meat Products.

• Vegetables, Pulses, Onion 

Importing Cargo of India: Major import of Cargo in India is as follows.

• Mineral fuels

• Oils and waxes and bituminous substances

• Pearls

• Precious and semi-precious stones and jewelry

• Electrical machinery and equipment

• Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances 

• Organic Chemicals.

Logistics development and employment in India: Following are the avenues for employment in the field of Logistics.

• E-Commerce

• Warehousing

• Shipping Line

• Aviation (Cargo)

• Freight Forwarding

• Manufacturing

• Cargo Terminal Operations

• Port Operations and ICDS

• Road Transport

Container movement in India: Following are the operating container ports in India.

• Kandla Port

• Mumbai Port

• Chennai Port

• Port Blair Port

• Kolkata Port

• Tuticorin Port

• Cochin Port

• Ennore Port

Further, Vizhijam will also be added to the above list once commissioned.

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