Krishnapatnam Port: Inter-modal logistics giant Container Corporation of India is moving heavily into privately operated Krishnapatnam Port, lured by new mainline service additions and strong volume gains at the minor, alternative cargo gateway on India’s east coast.
The state-owned company has upgraded its weekly rail service connecting Krishnapatnam and Bangalore to a twice-weekly operation to meet rising freight demand. Bangalore is a key inland destination in the country’s southern region.
Starting this week, shippers are in a position to take advantage of more frequent rail service with a much more affordable option than trucking in order to transport their goods to and from Krishnapatnam. The container trains from Bangalore ICD are scheduled to depart every Tuesday and Friday, and leave the port every Wednesday and Saturday.
The expansion coincides with a move by Maersk Line to shift its westbound shuttle service meant to cover southern India transshipment cargo from Chennai to Krishnapatnam, as well as nearby Kattupalli, on the back of growing truck bottlenecks at the public harbor.
“The newly launched service will radically reduce the transportation time to mere 48 hours for both import and export transits post discharge of the vessel. This will immensely benefit heavy cargoes that otherwise face regulatory issues due to weight restrictions via road transport,” Krishnapatnam Port Company told.
The private port operator said congestion-free port operations coupled with on-dock railyards add to the speed that the trains can load and discharge shipments, which normally would have involved prior customs checks at in-gates if transported by trucks.
“Our new rail service has been strategically allocated to not just cater to the intense demand but also address the needs of our customers with efficient facilities, which will enable them to leverage our association for the better,” Krishnapatnam Port CEO Anil Yendluri told.
Buoyed by growing interest from mainline carriers to use Krishnapatnam as an alternative option for regular calls, the private operator is working on a plan to expand its handling capacity by adding new container terminals in the harbor.
Port statistics show Krishnapatnam’s container volume jumped 30 percent year-over-year in fiscal year 2015 to 2016, to 119,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units.
Krishnapatnam, which is about 112 miles north of Chennai, began container operations in 2012. The container terminal there has about 2,150 feet of quay, an 89-acre back-up area and nearly 5,000 ground slots. It is capable of handling 1.2 million TEUs annually.
Concor, an offshoot of Indian Railways, is India’s largest intermodal services provider, with a network of about 65 inland terminals across the country. Official statistics show the company handles more than 3 million TEUs of hinterland cargo per year.