Taking advantage of the ongoing congestion at Colombo Port, the efforts of Cochin Port Trust in wooing mainline vessels seem to have started yielding results.
This is evident from the anchoring of Maersk Edinburgh with 366.5-metre length on Sunday, the largest ship ever to enter the inner harbour of Cochin Port Trust. The mainline vessel of 2M Alliance is also the first vessel to berth at International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadam under the US East Coast Service. The 13568 TEU container capacity vessels are among the largest class of ships call at Indian ports, the port officials said.
The ship has interchanged 1723 TEUS, and the arrival of such mainline is going to benefit the trade not only in terms of the lower logistics cost but also in terms of lower transit time of their cargo given the ongoing congestion at Colombo Port, hitherto the principal transhipment hub of Indian cargo, the officials added.
The officials, quoting received information, said that the situation in Colombo has not been improved so far and more mainline vessels are expected to call at Kochi shortly. The ship is scheduled to sail later tonight after completion of cargo operations, they said.
According to officials, the first ship to enter the inner harbour of Cochin Port Trust was S.S.Padma on May 26, 1928 as soon as the cutting of channel through the outer bar by Sir Robert Bristow using the Cutter Suction Dredger Lord Wilingdon was completed on March 30, 1928. The SS Padma was a coastal ship belonging to Bombay Steam Navigation Co and was just 53 metre long and 9 metre wide. Since then the port has been growing to meet the increasing trade from this part of the country.
Trade sources pointed out that the congestion at Colombo has turned out to be an opportunity for Kochi in gaining transhipment business following the diversion of ships. This would boost Kochi’s image in handling transhipment cargoes.