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Maersk sees big growth potential for container traffic from Vizag, Kakinada

Maersk Line, the global container division of the Maersk Group, is expecting a quantum jump in export and import cargo from Visakhapatnam and Kakinada ports, eyeing a good scope to transport construction material for the capital under construction at Amaravati.

Maersk Line Head of Trade and Marketing (India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka) Bhavik Mota told The Hindu that the weekly service introduced last year from Kakinada to Colombo was evoking a very good response. Maersk service from Visakhapatnam to Tanjung Pelepas (Malaysia), Quingdao, Xingang (China), Busan (South Korea), Shanghai and Nansha and on the return trip connecting Chennai and Krishnapatnam had emerged as the first choice for export and import cargo.

Stating that the East Coast is their priority area, he said Dhamra and Paradip ports are getting ready to get into the container business. The huge hinterland offers a lot of opportunities for the growth in traffic, he pointed out. “Kakinada is able to export a lot of rice, sugar and seafood. There is a huge potential for the import of cashew, water paper and other material via Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tuticorin. The mainliner from Visakhapatnam has several advantages for the east-bound cargo with a good connectivity to the Far East, Middle East and other destinations,” Mr. Mota said.

He said that they had already introduced export and import services at Kakinada, enabling the customers in the region to have a global reach. “Our aim is to offer end-to-end service which will reduce wastage and complexities of dealing with multiple players. It helps move it to the port in a cost-effective and reliable manner. This will benefit the importers of cashew from Africa, wood pulp and waster paper from European regions,” he said.

Investment plans

Referring to the Maersk’s investment plans, he said they would continue to serve customers in Indian inland markets by providing container freight stations, inland container depots, warehousing, transportation and customised container solutions in Nhava Sheva, Chennai, Dadri, Mundra, Pipavav, Pune and Tuticorin. “We are constantly evaluating the opportunities to serve the Indian hinterland and to that end, we have recently piloted a door-to-door delivery service, linking the businesses in the hinterland with the key markets via an inter-modal inland network that connects seamlessly with our ocean vessels,” he said.

Container transportation

On the size of container transportation in India, he said as per CONCOR annual report, the container volume moved by rail was around 19% of the overall volumes handled in the country. “There is a significant volume of cargo which moves by road between the hinterland and the ports both in containerised form as well as in bulk, which then gets containerised in or around the ports. Our market share from the hinterland is around 20% on aggregate, making us the largest integrated logistics service provider in the market,” he pointed out.

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