262-metre long container vessel berthed at VOC Port in Tuticorin
V O Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin on Thursday handled a 262-metre long container vessel at its Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal. This is for the second time that the VOC Port is handling such a long vessel.
The container vessel S C I Mumbai, which has a capacity to carry 4395 TEUs (Twenty foot Equivalent Unit) of containers, was berthed at the terminal 6.45am in the presence of Port Trust chairman I Jayakumar, deputy chairman S Nataraan, Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal CEO Eric Lavenu and others.
Jayakumar stated that earlier vessels with overall length of 230 metres with container carrying capacity of 2500 TEUs were calling at the port. “The humble start of this trial run with container carrying capacity of 4395 TEUs and length over all of 262 metre would pave way for attracting more international and coastal volumes and would also induce the main line operators offering services from the Far East, the Red Sea and East Africa to call VOC Port”, he said.
He further added that these services would be a game-changer in container business in this part of the country creating new opportunities and delivering cost efficient services to customers.
This is the second time that VOC port is handling such a long container vessel. On November 1, 2006 Round the World (RTW) service vessel M V Limari, with an overall length of 269 metre, made its call at Tuticorin offering direct calls to Europe, Mediterranean countries, China and the US, port sources said.
At present, VOC Port ranks fourth among the major Indian ports in terms of container handling. The port handled 6.42 lakh TEUs during the last financial year. In this financial year, it handled 3.78 lakh TEUs till October 25, 2017.
To meet the container traffic forecast of 3.28 million TEUs by 2025-26, plans are on the anvil by port authorities to deepen the harbour basin and approach channel to facilitate draft of 15.20 metre from its present draft of 12.80m, modify the harbour entrance to 230 meter from 153 meter width, strengthen berths 1 to 6 and convert berths 3 & 4 into a container terminal to handle Very Large Container Carriers (VLCC) up to 14000 TEUs capacity, port sources said.