NEW DELHI – To increase efficiency of major ports, a new berthing policy for dry bulk cargo will be in place from August 20, the government said today.
“Ministry of Shipping has formulated a new Berthing Policy for Dry Bulk Cargo for all major ports which will come into effect from August 20, 2016,” Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.
The objective of the new policy is to provide a standardized framework for calculation of norms, specific to the commodity handled and the infrastructure available on the berth besides driving higher productivity and achieving near-design capacity of the available equipments/infrastructure, it said. throughput using the available infrastructure in major ports, the statement, said adding it will improve utilization of port assets and create additional capacity without any significant capital investment.
Further, the policy aims at increasing competitiveness of major ports by creating value for the trade through reduced logistics cost and at reassessing the capacity of the berths based on the expected performance of the berth equipments and vessels derived from performance norms. “All the major ports will be holding trade meetings between July 1 to July 18, 2016 to sensitize the norms, incentives, penalities and charges to be implemented,” it said.
Dry bulk cargo currently makes up over 26 percent of the cargo handled at the 12 major ports while growth in coastal shipping is expected to add about 100-150 million tonne per annum (MTPA) of additional dry bulk cargo at ports by 2020-25. Recent benchmarking of ports’ performance across key dry bulk commodities has identified significant scope for improvement of productivities in-comparison to best-in-class peers, the government said.
The low productivity has contributed to high turn-around times in addition to resulting in higher berth occupancy levels across major ports, it added. Furthermore, low productivity prevents ports from being able to utilise the full capacity of exiting assets, thereby directly diminishing return on investment for ports, it said.
“Significant productivity improvements are therefore necessary at major ports not only to ensure additional dry bulk cargo throughput, but also for avoidance of CAPEX in additional capacity creation,” it added.
The government said at present performance norms are not being used optimally to improve productivity at many major ports.
India has 12 major ports — Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Ennore, V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.