Reports say cut in haulage charges will be effective from April 1

Visakhapatnam is expected to record zooming trade with the Ministry of Railways deciding to reduce freight charges for containers.

Though people involved in the field are waiting for more clarity on the ministry’s recent decision to cut haulage charges, it is assumed that the reduction will help all of them to some extent. Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) has already announced its intention to pass on the benefit to users. “The clients have already got used to payment of the enhanced charges. The reduction may help them to some extent, though not significantly,” a CONCOR official remarked.

Reports quoting the ministry stated that reduction by five per cent for 10 to 20 tonne loaded containers, 13 per cent for empty and flat containers in 20 tonne slab and 25 per cent discount for fruits and vegetables for schemes sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture or National Horticulture Board will be effective from April 1.

In two spells, the ministry had enhanced the charges for various categories of containers during current fiscal. The ministry announced the reduction following a representation by the Association of Container Train Operators.

An official of Visakhapatnam Port Trust told THE HINDU that the decision would benefit Visakha Container Terminal Private Limited (VCTPL) in wooing more business. “A reduction is most welcome at a time when the port industry is sluggish notwithstanding the fact we are recording an impressive corresponding aggregate growth rate (CAGR),” a VCTPL official pointed out.

VCTPL has developed India’s deepest all-weather terminal PPP mode following a MoU with the Visakhapatnam Port. It is developed as a joint venture in June, 2003 by DP World and United Liner Agencies India (Private) Ltd.

VCTPL handled 1.45 lakh twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) during 2010-11 and increased it to 2.34 lakh TEUs in 2011-12 recording a 58 per cent growth rate and CAGR of 26.4 per cent. With arrival of large ships from Maersk Line, diversion of transhipment cargo from Kolkata-Haldia, huge hinterland connecting seven States within a distance of 700 km and road and rail connectivity, VCTPL is planning to achieve half a million traffic mark soon by launching an ambitious expansion project.

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