A decade down, ICTT aims to emerge as India’s transhipment hub
ICTT, officials said, has played a key role in making Kochi a strategic hub to enhance trade in the south India region.
KOCHI: DP World, which operates the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam in Kochi, has completed 10 years, achieving the milestone after battling the initial turbulent period. The ICTT also managed to silence sceptics who did not give a chance to the terminal saying Colombo port’s locational advantage and the Vallarpadam’s smaller draft will not help it survive for long.
The Vallarpadam terminal was inaugurated on February 11, 2011, when then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated it to the nation describing it as the milestone in logistic infrastructure development.
The port recovered its highest monthly throughput of more than 70,000 TEUs in January 2021, registering a 36 per cent year-on-year growth over January 2020.
ICTT is India’s first transhipment hub strategically located close to major global east-west trade routes. Since its inception, the terminal has handled 4.68 million TEUs and 5,661 vessel calls including 1,858 mainline vessel calls. In 2020, despite major business disruptions, DP World Cochin handled 6.31 lakh TEUs, registering a marginal decline of 0.35 per cent over 2019 volumes while the south India market collectively registered an average de-growth of 11.2 per cent.
ICTT, officials said, has played a key role in making Kochi a strategic hub to enhance trade in the south India region. The terminal provides fast and reliable connectivity to the hinterland through multi-modal transportation including rail and inland waterways. Cargo from all industrial clusters in Kerala and the major ones in Tamil Nadu (like Coimbatore, Pollachi and other hubs) can reach the terminal within six hours.
In 2020, DP World Cochin launched a direct weekly rail connection to Bengaluru. This resulted in an impressive five-fold increase in rail volumes. DP World Cochin offers various direct connections to Europe, the Mediterranean, the Far-east, South East Asia and the Middle East. Thereby, providing reduced transit time, cost and reliable reach to global markets. In 2020, the terminal handled 42 per cent of EXIM (export-import) cargo on mainline vessels positioning Kochi as a port of choice for customers.
“The terminal continues to be highly efficient and productive with truck turnaround time at an average of 27 minutes, and an average Gross Crane Rate (GCR) of 30+ moves per hour, which is on a par with global standards,” said Praveen Joseph, CEO, DP World Cochin. “ICTT is a key example of DP World’s commitment to India’s trade growth. The terminal has played a crucial role in boosting trade from South India,” he said.
Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Shipping said one of the top priorities of the Union Ministry of Shipping is to actualise the vision to make ICTT the transhipment hub of India and a pioneer hub in South Asia. “We are developing the transhipment facility on the Indian port to ensure that the Indian cargo trans-ship through Indian port. Resolving various issues of Vallarpadam Terminal is one of the priorities of the ministry,” he had said.