The International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), Vallarpadam, on Tuesday received the first mainline vessel which will use the terminal as its transshipment hub instead of Colombo.
mv Zim China of the Asia- Mediterranean Express (AME) berthed at ICTT at 4 pm on Tuesday. It is the first mainline vessel to call at ICTT after the Union Government announced relaxations in Cabotage law for ICTT in December 2012.
The vessel and crew were accorded a warm welcome by the Cochin Port Trust and DP World officials. Cochin Port Trust chairman Paul Antony, Customs Commissioner Dr K N Raghavan, DP World managing director (sub-continent) Anil Singh and DP World Cochin chief executive officer K K Krishndas were present on the occasion.
Paul Antony told mediapersons that there was considerable growth in the volume of cargo after the relaxation of the Cabotage law in December 2012. “Since December, there has been a 11 per cent growth in terms of cargo volume. The growth rate touched 20 per cent in March,” he said.
He added that that the dredging to provide 14.5 metre draft would be completed by mid-April.
Anil Singh said the arrival of Zim China stood as a testimony to the efforts by both the Cochin Port Trust and DP World to fulfil the ‘nation’s dream’ as envisioned by the Prime Minster when he laid the foundation stone for ICTT in 2005.
“Local Colombo containers will be transshipped on to the AME service at ICTT, marking a reversal of container flow,” said DP World officials.
Tuticorin and Chennai containers will also be transshipped at ICTT to connect this service.
The fastest service between China and Kochi, this weekly service connects Shanghai to Kochi in 12 days. This will also be the fastest service from Kochi to Mediterranean ports like Ashdod, Haifa and Mersin.