Visakhapatnam Container Terminal Private Limited, a BOT operator of Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT), which runs the country’s deepest container terminal, has set March, 2021 as the deadline for completion of its expansion project.
“We are confident of increasing the capacity from 0.6 million twenty foot equivalent units to 1.5 million TEUs per annum after launching the work on a war footing,” a senior official of VCTPL told.
He said they would make VPT’s dream to transform the major port into a transhipment hub true by making it a gateway port for several countries in the region. Shipliners like Maersk are also evincing lot of interest to scale up their operations due to locational advantage of Visahapatnam Port.
VCTPL is located in the centre of India’s east coast and close to the Malacca Straits. It is considered an ideal gateway for container traffic from Andhra Pradesh,Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
The pre-revised cost for the expansion of VCTPL is put at ₹633 crore. The container terminal has a natural depth of 17 metres. It has state-of-the-art container-handling infrastructure. The terminal is well equipped with modern infrastructure including post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, the latest software, over 366 reefer plug points, adequate power back-up and two full-length rail sidings.
VCTPL, at present, is handling containers from Kolkata, Haldia, Paradip, Kakinada, Chittagong and Yangon ports. It has well-established rail and road connectivity to the hinterland, which allows the smooth movement of cargo to the local hinterland and Inland Container Depots at National Capital Region, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Raipur.
Growth at the VCTPL has consistently compounded at an annual growth rate of 22% since inception.
The year-on-year growth from financial year 2015 to 2019 has been put at 16%. Moreover, this fiscal year, VCTPL is set to cross the 0.5 million TEU mark and it will continue to grow at 16% annually, according to VPT officials.
Container movements to and from Nepal has played a pivotal role in the increase in imports. Local volumes have increased too.
Major commodities like ferroalloys, agro products, frozen seafood, aluminium products, manganese ore, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and paper have all contributed to the overall increase in export import movements.