After launching operation at the Container Freight Station developed at a cost of Rs.10 crores at the old railway station in the Old Town, the Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) has made a big impact in attracting container cargo.
Introduction of stuffing, stacking, de-stuffing and allied activities have led to increase in volume of its business ever since it introduced its operations in the city.
As of today, nearly 25 ship liners have established their units in the city to transport cargo by feeder ships to the mother ships.
CONCOR, which began its business with a modest turnover in early 2000, is pinning high hopes on converting the Visakhapatnam port as a gateway port due to locational advantage.
Visakhapatnam is close to Southeast Asian cities compared to other ports and holds an important position in the eastern seaboard.
CONCOR, which had a turnover of Rs. 23.46 crores during 2008-09, is heading towards achieving a turnover of close to Rs.25 crores during 2009-10.
“The impact of recession is not much though the potential of Vizag as a destination for container cargo has to be explored much more,” Md. Azhar Shams, Senior General Manager of CONCOR told The Hindu.
CONCOR is handling export and import (exim) and domestic business.
Last year it handled 5,500 domestic and 4,500 exim containers. Pig iron, steel, ammonium nitrate, rajma, coal tar pitch, yellow peas and project cargo are the main throughput for domestic containers.
Ferrochrome, garnet, mills scale, alumina powder, computer machineries, wood and carbon blocks are the main exim cargo.
The recent procurement of 200 open top containers, 150 of them 20 feet and 50 of 40 feet from China, have come as a boom for transporting of domestic container cargo. Now one tonne jumbo bag stuffing through end access is no more difficult.
“Now it is more cost effective for the domestic traffic,” said Mr. Shams.
One good development in recent times was the order from Tata Usha Martin to send 25,000 tonnes of scrap from Visakhapatnam.
More enquiries were also pouring in after acquiring 200 open top containers. Containerisation would gain momentum once sea fares from Vizag were made competitive compared to the tariff charged by container terminals in Mumbai and Chennai, he said.