MANGALURU: The number of containers handled at New Mangalore Port crossed 1 lakh TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) on February 26 during the current financial year.
The port handled 1,00,666 TEUs of containers till February 26 of 2017-18 as against 82,169 TEUs in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, recording a growth of 22.51 per cent. The port handled 94,939 TEUs in 2016-17.
Suresh P Shirwadkar, Chairman in-charge of New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT), termed this growth as a significant achievement towards the development of container traffic at the port.
Increase in the handling of cargoes such as coffee, raw cashew, gherkins, machinery, polypropylene granules and chemicals contributed immensely to achieving this growth in terms of TEUs, he said.
The port is witnessing a steady growth in container traffic mainly due to its business promotion initiatives. Infrastructure works such as expansion of container yards and increase in the number of reefer plug points, and ‘ease of doing business’ initiatives have also contributed for this growth, he said.
These initiatives have fostered the container movement to the port from the hinterland. The port, which handled 9,646 TEUs during 2005-06, is now handling more than 1 lakh TEUs of containers.
He said that increase in the frequency of calls by feeder-line container vessels, competitive ocean freight offered by mainline container operators, and the option of three ports for transhipment of cargo have helped reduce transit time for containers.
The stabilisation of frequency of schedules of the vessels and harmonious industrial relationship have enabled in establishing the reliability of services over the neighbouring ports, he said.
The Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) has commenced its operation from its Inland Container Depot in Bengaluru to NMPT. At present, CONCOR operates a weekly train service from Bengaluru to Mangaluru and vice versa.
A railway siding for CONCOR was commissioned on January 31.This initiative will further boost the connectivity and transportation of containers on railway network, he added.