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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Tuticorin Port, the Gateway Port of Southern India, is registering consistent growth every year in handling of containers and cargo. New records in cargo handling are created every year. In order to enhance the volume of cargo and container handled through Tuticorin Port, the Port is taking various initiatives with the Steamer Agents, Liners and Port users etc. by offering various concessions/relaxations. To facilitate direct shipment of containers to destinations without transhipment in foreign Ports, the Port has been encouraging deployment of main line container vessels.

Taking advantage of the thrust given by the Port, two direct main line services viz. INDAMEX service to USA and Euro Galax were introduced in 2001 and 2003 respectively. The Euro Galax service operated upto Europe with seven vessels of 1800 TEUs capacity was found to be highly advantageous for direct shipment to Europe. Following the heavy demand for this service, the size of the vessels deployed was increased to 2800 TEUs capacity from January, 2004 and the service was upgraded and re-designated as "Round The World" service with the following Port rotation.

Tuticorin > Colombo > Port Said > Felixstowe > Rotterdam > Hamburg > Port Elizabeth > New Port > Charleston > Kingston > Long Beach > Oakland > Shanghai > Ningbao > Xlamen > Chiwan > Singapore > Port K'Lang > Jebel Ali > Mundra > NSICT > Tuticorin. It takes 90 days for the vessel to complete one circle.

Presently, the above service is operated by a consortium consisting of M/s.CSAV Norasia and M/s.Gold Star Lines.

To facilitate direct shipment by catering to the requirement of the entire Southern Region and thereby achieving cost reduction and ensuring quick transit of containers, M/s.CSAV Norasia along with M/s.Gold Star Lines have further upgraded the service by deploying vessels of more than 4,000 TEUs capacity. M/s.CSAV Norasia have deployed 10 vessels and M/s.Gold Star have deployed 3 vessels in the service. These vessels would call at Tuticorin Port on every Wednesday at 08:00 hrs. and sail at 23:00 hrs.

The first vessel in the upgraded services viz. M.V.'NORASIA ATRIA' called at Tuticorin Port on 7.6.2006 for unloading 254 TEUs and loading 391 TEUs. M.V.'NORASIA ATRIA', built in 2004, is the longest vessel with 265m ever to call at Tuticorin Port. The vessel has a capacity to carry 4298 TEUs with 13 rows across the ship. Incidentally, this is the biggest container vessel ever to call at any Port in southern India. The advantages of deploying bigger vessels are that the existing restriction on booking can be eliminated and the transhipment at Colombo Port can be reduced. The vessel is expected to handle about 1200 TEUs in a voyage against 750 TEUs in the previous calls. The EXIM Trade will be assured of direct connectivity to destinations in Europe and US without transhipment. Therefore, the exporters are expected to achieve reduction in cost and quick transit as they are assured of reliable service.

With the existing infrastructure at Tuticorin Port, vessels upto 245 m length have been berthed until now. However in line with the initiative to upgrade the services, Tuticorin Port has permitted to berth vessels of more than 245m length subject to certain restrictions. Taking advantage of this latest concession announced by the Port, M/s.CSAV Norasia have introduced the upgraded RTW services with bigger vessels of 265m length.

Further, Tuticorin Port is known for the unmatched high level of productivity in handling of containers compared to any other Port in India. The excellent productivity rate at the Tuticorin Container Terminal enables the vessel to complete operation in much lesser time, thereby reducing the operational cost and maintaining window at next Port. Another important aspect for the consistent growth rate of Tuticorin Port is the well coordinated and congenial relations among the four sectors involved in container handling viz. the Port, the Customs, the Terminal Operator and the Agents. The Port is also embarking on Inner Harbour development at an estimated cost of Rs.685 crores and the existing draft of 10.7m will be increased to 12.8m shortly to attract more main line vessels and many users including M/s.CSAV Norasia are expected to upgrade their services. All these factors are expected to make Tuticorin Port, a vibrant hub Port in Southern India.
At a function organized onboard the vessel, the Master of the vessel, Capt. Taylor Gregor from the United Kingdom was greeted by Shri S.Natarajan, FA&CAO/TPT with a shawl and memento. The FA&CAO wished the service success and stated that the upgraded service would reduce the transit time, transportation cost as well as transhipment and also referred to the concerted efforts taken by the Chairman, Port Trust both in India and Abroad to upgrade the services. Shri Samuel Benett, Branch Manager of M/s.CSAV Group Agencies (India) Pvt. Ltd., Shri S.Mahalingam, Financial Controller and Company Secretary, M/s.PSA SICAL, S/Shri Madhusoodhanan, Anand Morais, Karthikeya Prabhu and other Trade representatives were present in the function.

The EXIM Trade of the entire South India is expected to be immensely benefitted by the upgraded service.

Source: Public Relations Officer, Tuticorin Port Trust

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