Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Board of Trustees of the Cochin Port Trust, on Tuesday, decided to make vessel-related charges at the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam competitive, in line with the charges at other transhipment ports in the South and South-east Asian region. The soft launch of the terminal is set for July.

Vessel-related charges

The Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), which regulates all rates at 11 Union government-owned ports, had recently increased the vessel-related charges of the Cochin Port Trust (effective from May 7) by 40 per cent on the average when compared to the pre-revised scale of rates. The tariff hike had affected Kochi port by making it uncompetitive with respect to its neighbouring transhipment ports, the press release stated.

Handling charges

A statement from the Cochin Port Trust said that DP World, promoters of ICTT through its holding company India Gateway Terminal Private Limited (IGTPL), has also decided in-principle to make the terminal handling charges for transhipment containers in line with that of other international transhipment ports in the region.

Currently, the terminal handling charges fixed for the proposed ICTT is higher by 30-60 per cent when compared to the prevailing rates at Rajiv Gandhi Container Terminal.

The decision to make the tariff competitive is a pricing decision taken by the Cochin Port Trust and DP World with an aim to develop ICTT as a transhipment port and fulfil the promise of developing Kochi as an international transhipment hub for cargoes, the press release stated.

Currently, a substantial portion of Indian container volume is shipped through ports at Colombo, Singapore and Salalah.

The Colombo port handles about two million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of Indian transhipment containers out of the nearly four million TEUs.

The following special tariff for vessel-related charges has been fixed for ICTT for mainline container vessels with international ports of call in the continents of America, Europe, Africa, Australia and any port in China. Port dues per gross registered tonnage (GRT) will be $0.0455. Pilotage charge per GRT will be $0.0865 and berth hire per GRT per hour will be $0.0022. The terminal is scheduled for commissioning in August, and in the first phase it will have a 600-metre quay length.