Visakhapatnam Port is seeing an increasing attraction for coastal shipping

The Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) has increased its focus on coastal shipping as the port handles significant coastal traffic.

“We have excellent facilities and special berth agreements for coastal shipping. “After Prime Minister Gati Shakti Yojana takes office, synergies and an ecosystem will be developed with the promotion of domestic trade, etc.,” said Madhaiyaan Angamuthu, chairman of the VPA.

Coastal traffic handled in the port of Visakhapatnam accounted for 26-30 percent of the total traffic handled in the past two fiscal years. In FY23, VPA handled 73.75 million tonnes (MMT) of freight, of which 31 percent was coastal freight. It was almost the same in the previous fiscal year.

The Department’s target for coastal traffic this year is 20 MMT and so far (Q1) the port has handled 5.10 MMT of coastal cargo, according to VPA data.

Promotion of coastal shipping

VPA has also adapted its policies and strategies to promote coastal shipping through the port, such as: B. Priority berths for ships in shore operations, tariff concessions on the freight charges of both ships, dedicated cargo berths for handling shore cargo with the necessary back-up storage facilities.

Broad policy initiatives on offer to promote coastal shipping include customs clearance of coastal cargo through green channels, exemption from customs inspection of coastal cargo prior to shipment/landing, and a 40 percent concession for coastal carriers.

“In addition, we are in the country’s economic and energy corridor with location advantages,” said the VPA chairman.

In the context of Maritime India, coastal shipping plays a key role in EXIM trade. With this in mind, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways recently launched a number of initiatives to develop coastal shipping in the country.

initiatives taken

These include a reduction in GST on bunker fuel from 18 per cent to 5 per cent, an easing of licenses for some categories of specialist vessels, a priority berth policy for coastal vessels to reduce turnaround time for them, and a relaxation of CABOTAGE rules for foreign vessels carrying fertilisers, agricultural products and EXIM containers to be transhipped in India on coastal routes.

It is estimated that by 2025, with current and planned capacity for coal, cement, iron and steel, food grain and fertilizer, coastal shipping traffic of around 250 MMTPA can be achieved. In addition, 125 MMTPA cargo is expected to be transported via inland waterways in the same period.

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