The new system adopted for container clearance at International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam has been the talk of the shipping industry for sometime now, as it is expected to boost the transhipment operations at India’s first transhipment terminal.
However, question over its implementation and the subsequent result has been much debated and when Shippingbiz360 asked its readers in a poll if they felt that the new system at the ICTT will facilitate transhipment, there was mixed response. While a whopping 50% of the respondents replied in the affirmative, the rest 50% were unable to comment on the same.
Summet Kar, manager at Express Carriers, a Mangalore based logistics company involved in providing third-party logistics (3PL) services opined in this context, “The ICTT when launched had held immense promise of lending a huge boost to the Indian shipping fraternity. However, the expectation was not fulfilled. With the new system implementation, there is room for improvement now and hopefully the Kochi port officials will not waste a second chance.”
However, expressing different views, S N Thangaraja, owner of Thangaraja Shipping Agents, a small-sized Chennai based shipping agency, said, “The ICTT is a major let down. While it was touted to have promoted India’s status as a transhipment hub, poor infrastructure as well as mismanagement has both knocked the foundation off the project. How far this new system deployment helps the ICTT can only be revealed through time and practice.”
The decision regarding the same was arrived at post discussions amidst top officials of Ministries of Shipping, Commerce and Finance, among others. According to the new system, clearance for containers transported by sea between two nations or from an Indian port to a foreign port or vice-versa would be issued by the SEZ, customs. However, the clearance for the containers transported between an Indian port and a foreign port by road/rail to sea or by sea to road/rail should be the responsibility of the department of revenue, customs.
Priyanka Roy Chowdhury