In line with the government’s increasing focus on strengthening bilateral trade relations with Myanmar, Krishnapatnam Port recently flagged off a direct fortnightly container shipping service operated by the Shipping Corporation of India to the Port of Yangon.
The Port of Yangon is Myanmar’s premier port handling about 90 per cent of the country’s exports and imports.
Krishnapatnam Port, located in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, is one of the largest and fastest growing ports on the east coast. Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd is promoted by the CVR Group which has a turnover of over $1 billion and an order book of $ 10 billion comprising various sectors including power, steel, ports, spatial technology and applications, information technology and exports.
KPCL is engaged in facilitating the container shipping service operated by SCI to the Port of Yangon, located at a distance of 1,100 nautical miles. Under the new service, a 1,200 TEU vessel SCI Kamal connects the ports of Chennai, Krishnapatnam, Yangon and Colombo.
With the commencement of the container shipping service, trade activities between India’s east coast and countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka are expected to surge due to reduced shipment times and costs. Traders will be able to utilise the services of Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal, operated by KPCL, to export clinker, telecom equipment and cars and import pulses, timber and garments.
“The Yangon service will boost bilateral trade relations between India and Myanmar by opening immense opportunities for exporters and importers in these countries. We are glad to associate with Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal for the new service and thereby facilitate trade to reach out to the growing markets in Myanmar,” said Captain S. Narula, Director – Liner and Passenger Services, SCI.
The Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal began operations in September 2012. It handles cargo such as cement, rice, maize, seafood, granite, chilies, tobacco and cotton. The terminal is fast becoming the container gateway for the region because of its world-class cargo handling equipment, deep draft, huge warehousing facilities, efficient operational processes and good rail and road connectivity.
Krishnapatnam Port is at present in its second phase of development. Till date, the Port has attracted an investment of nearly $ 1 billion. Its master plan incorporates 42 berths with a total quay length of 12.5 km. and a draft of 20 m, capable of handling 200,000 DWT super capsize vessels. There are plans to set up shipbuilding and repair facilities along with bunkering facilities at the Port in the future.
Some of the major advantages of Krishnapatnam Port include a huge backup area of 6,500 acres for transit storage that will house a dedicated container terminal, a import hub port for coal for the 14,000-MW power project coming up in the vicinity and a export hub port for iron ore along with capacity to handle fertilisers, petrochemicals, break-bulk cargo, project cargo and automobiles. The port has established a world record for coal discharge of 1,22,247 tonnes using the conventional system of coal unloading. It also achieved a benchmark by loading 60,021 tonnes of iron ore fines in just 24 hours by using the conventional system of loading. A ‘pull’ factor for shipping lines to call at Krishnapatnam Port is the incremental ocean freight that the EXIM trade of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are willing to pay as a result of their logistical savings. The fast turnaround time at the port leads to considerable savings, both in terms of time as well as cost.
Bilateral trade between India and Myanmar increased from $12.4 million in 1980-81 to $2.17 billion in 2013-14. India’s imports from Myanmar are dominated by agricultural items such as beans and pulses and forest-based products. Main exports to Myanmar include primary and semi-finished steel and pharmaceuticals. In 2013-14, India’s exports to Myanmar stood at $785 million while imports totalled $1.39 billion.