Cochin Port Trust’s cargo handling gathers pace in last three months
Cargo volumes and ship calls at Cochin Port Trust are exhibiting a recovery trend, despite overall decline in the nine months of the current fiscal.
The port handled the highest-ever monthly throughput of 3.20 million tonnes in December 2020, a growth of 10.55 per cent over December 2019.
Besides, the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) run by DP World at Cochin Port Trust, crossed 60,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in December, the fourth consecutive month to handle this level of containers since September 2020, as the global trade slowly rebounded from the slump induced by the pandemic.
The port handled 21.393 million tonnes of cargo between April and December 2020, a decline of 14.45 per cent over the same period in the previous fiscal.
Petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) throughput reached 12.973 mt between April and December 2019, a decline of 24.44 per cent over the corresponding period of FY20.
Container volumes handled at ICTT during the nine months of FY21 touched 4.78 lakh TEUs, registering a growth of 2.51 per cent over the corresponding period of FY20.
Demand picking up
Senior officials at the Kochi Refinery of BPCL hinted that the demand for petroleum products has reached pre-Covid levels. The market has picked up substantially and petroleum products have started moving in tandem with the demand for diesel and petrol. The refinery has started receiving monthly crude intake of 1.5 million tonnes for processing, officials said.
Cochin Port Trust sources said that the strategy adopted by the Business Development Team in providing ‘end to end’ solutions at a competitive cost to the export-import trade has paid off.
The team successfully did a modal shift to coastal shipping in respect of domestic cargoes like foodgrain and fertiliser. Reaching out to customers during the difficult time of Covid-19 to resolve the problems faced by them in inland logistics has helped gain confidence in the EXIM trade, resulting in additional cargo post-lockdown period.
The issue of shortage of empty refrigerated containers raised by seafood exporters was taken up promptly resulting in re-positioning of empty reefer containers by the shipping lines and facilitating shipments during the festival season. All these proactive steps helped the port arrest the declining trend in cargo handling and put it on a growth path, the sources added.
Source: The Hindu Business Line