Kerala state government pushes for cabotage relaxation for Vizhinjam

Kerala state government pushes for cabotage relaxation for Vizhinjam

Cochin: The Indian central government has promised to consider the Kerala state government’s request that Vizhinjam port be granted cabotage relaxation in September this year, when the renewal of the same relaxation for the Vallarpadam container terminal at Kochi port comes up.

Cabotage, which deals with restrictions on coastal transportation by foreign flag vessels, is being considered as a way of developing container transhipment hubs on the Indian coastline. This activity has not taken off at the DP World run Vallarpadam terminal even after it was granted cabotage relaxation in September 2013.

The Kerala government, however, is looking to develop Vizhinjam, which has a deeper draft and better location near the main East-West shipping routes, as a transhipment hub.

Transhipment is an area where India has been losing out to neighbouring ports like Colombo, Dubai and Singapore. More than 27% of India’s transhipment containers are moved at foreign ports, even as 70% of Colombo’s box throughput comes from transhipment of Indian containers.

Shirish Nadkarni

Shirish Nadkarni is a management consultant and freelance international journalist, who has been writing on all spheres of Indian business for the past three decades for a number of reputed overseas publications. An avid sportsman, Nadkarni has represented India in international veterans' badminton since 1997, and was the 55+ age group doubles world champion in 2005.

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