At least Seven Main
line vessels especially belonging to MSCN that decided to skip Colombo port,
keen to call at the nearby VOC Port, Tuticorin but turned away due to the bureaucratic
delays and limitations of draft at the Port. The vessels had decided to skip
the Colombo Port due to congestion caused by corona virus but had to move away
to Cochin transshipment terminal since they had no option.
The Tuticorin port
administration had stipulated the size of the container ships that can enter
its container terminals in its recent trade notice at 310 meters length, 48
meters width and 14.2 meters draft. However, many main line vessels within the
stipulated size made a request to call at Tuticorin port but they were turned
away under one pretext or other according to industry sources.
Marine staff not confidant to bring the vessels since they have doubts
about the draft in certain patches
The sources told
Sagar Sandesh that the Marine staff are not confidant to bring the vessels
since they have doubts about the draft in certain patches. They do not want to
take the risk under these conditions. The port administration is also taking a
long time in taking a decision on the Main line vessel's request to call at the
The main line
vessels want a decision from the port administration within a few hours before
they take a decision in the high seas whether to divert to Tuticorin or Cochin.
Most of the time the decisions are delayed indefinitely forcing the main line
ships to divert to Cochin.
The industry in
Tuticorin is upset that the Tuticorin port administration has not risen up to
the occasion that would have given the port the opportunity to stake its claim
for a transshipment terminal. The shipping ministry is not favoring development
projects at Tuticorin and this would give them the justification why they don’t
want to consider Tuticorin port for setting up the Transshipment terminal.
The Rs 3000 crore
outer harbor project at Tuticorin cleared by the union cabinet, and announced
at the first budget of the BJP government in 2016 was scrapped without
assigning any reason. The transshipment terminal project at Colachel given in
principle clearance by the Union cabinet in 2016 has not taken off.
to reports from Cochin the diversion of several ships due to congestion at
Colombo Port and failure of Tuticorin port to accept opportunities has turned
out to be a boon for Cochin Port in terms of gaining transshipment business.
Rising number of Covid cases among port workers in Colombo has aggravated
the existing congestion in that port
Of late, the
International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam at Cochin
Port has started receiving additional mainline ships on ad hoc basis with transshipment
volumes. The rising number of Covid cases among port workers in Colombo has
aggravated the existing congestion in that port, reports said.
Hundreds of port workers and customs staff in Colombo
Port have been declared positive for corona virus. Besides the movement
restrictions imposed by the Sri Lankan government in Colombo city following
prevalence of Covid-19 have acted as obstacle to the employees from reaching
the port premises. Consequently, handling of cargo at the port has suffered a setback
during the last one month.