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Third Technical Session

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Third Technical Session Gujarat: A true Multicargo Hub Issues & Opportunities

Mr Ashok Jain, MD, Diamond Shipbrokers Pvt. Ltd


Carrying solid bulk cargoes involves serious risks, which must be managed carefully to safeguard the crew, the
ship, the cargo and the environment. The main cargo handling risks are poor ship-to-shore communications,
ignoring loading plans, inadequate pre-planning of cargo operations, improper load distribution between holds,
overloading by high capacity systems and physical damage during discharging, which need to be avoided.
However, things are evolving in this sector, with the coming of modern vessels and terminals. Today, dry bulk
handling systems have evolved at an impressively fast pace. However, more modern dry bulk terminals are
required in India as currently we have only 4 ports which can accept modern Capesize vessels. We need to have
a seamless, integrated pit-to-port supply chain logistics. We also need to sensitise all stakeholders to comply with
IMO regulations, particularly the IMSBC code. Training and education of the people involved will help raise
awareness about the best global practices in dry bulk cargo handling. Gujarat has been a true multicargo hub for
a long time, with excellent productivity and efficiency in handling all types of cargoes, be it bulk, break-bulk or
project.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mr B. K. Mansukhani, MD, Rishi Shipping
One of the reasons for our weak economy is the port handling logistics costs. This is making our raw material to
industry costlier and our exports in the international market costly and, therefore, uncompetitive. In India only a
few private ports have the capability to handle Capesize vessels of high draught and LOA. For the Ministry, the
solution has been to spend money for continuous dredging. In Kandla, we have been handling large size
Capesize vessels at anchorage and discharging more volumes on barges. Now the Ministry is coming around to
the view that instead of focusing only on increasing draught at the Major Ports, through dredging, barge
operations could be an option.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mr Haresh Lalwani, Jt MD, Sun Logistics
While handling hazmat cargo, you have to think safety with every breath you take. The common problems crop up
in packaging, handling, transportation, infrastructure, incomplete Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), and
insufficient knowledge and training. The MSDS is a critical document. It is a list provided by the manufacturer
containing detailed information, including comprehensive safety information, about a single product. The
information can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from various forms of the same chemical. The
information provided ensures that the cargo is safely handled, not stored with incompatible goods, and is highly
useful by emergency personnel in the event of an incident. In hazardous cargo handling and movement, one
should not misdeclare the cargo, compromise or cut corners at the cost of safety, depend on the next in the chain
to do the work, submit incomplete MSDS and illegally dispose. The responsibility chain encompasses all,
including packaging manufacturer/supplier, shipper/manufacturer, transporter, freight forwarder (CHA),
warehouse and carrier.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mr Rajesh Mehta, Executive Director, LP India Logistics Pvt. Ltd
Talking about green channel to ease the process of getting permissions, in the 90s we had the licence raj, which
has now been replaced by the permission raj. The blame lies not only with the policymakers or regulators but to
an extent also with the trade who have manipulated the provisions and incentive schemes of the government. As
a result, the government came up with loads of documentation. It is a vicious circle which we have to collectively
attack. The systems and processes to expedite the clearance of projects are in place. But all these are formulated
by different departments with different perspectives. What we need is a single department that can think with a

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Third Technical Session

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single perspective, which takes care of the freight development as also the interests of the stakeholders involved
on end-to-end basis. And in return the trade has to promise the government a productivity output and productivity
efficiency.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mr Tapan Sahu, Dy General Manager Logistics, Larsen & Toubro Ltd Power I/C
Gujarat does have the scope for coastal movement of project cargo given its integrated focus on maritime
development. Gujarat has 41 ports and has been promoting captive jetties, which has certainly improved the
loading facilities. L&T, for example, has a captive jetty at Hazira where we load huge structures for exports and
well as for movement to Mumbai. Of course, there could be some more promotion of barge-handling RoRo jetties
for easy and streamlined movement of heavylift and project cargo. Having said that, I would add that we have
challenges on the documentation, infrastructure and policy fronts. In documentation, steps should be taken to
make multimodal movements easier. The recent notification on river-sea barges would help in project cargo
movement. On the policy front, the Motor Vehicles Act has a restriction of up to 49 tonnes, which has to change.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Capt. Rakesh Mishra, Port Officer, Gujarat Maritime Board
At the moment in Gujarat, private ports have better mechanical cargo handling facilities. Kandla has new berths
being developed; so they are also moving in the right direction. Some GMB ports lacking in mechanical handling
facilities will have them in the coming period. We have quite a few captive jetties in the Kutch region, Khambat
region which have their own loading facilities. So, things are moving in the right direction. Coastal movement has
potential. We can have cross-Gulf movement between Kutch and Khambat. Someone has to take a step. There is
a lot of cargo in the Kutch region that has to go to Saurashtra and beyond. Also, if coastal movement can be kept
outside the Customs area, it would boost operations.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Capt. Unmesh Abhyankar, COO, APSEZ Ltd
What the customer wants is to transport his cargo from point A to point B at the least cost. For this, ports have to
be geared up to ensure that berths wait for ships and not the other way round. That is actually when we will start
reducing cost. The customer wants the product to reach his doorstep at the least possible cost, for which there
are various methods. Mr Mansukhani, for example, has opted for the low-cost method. Private ports have opted
for the high investment, high volume, the larger you handle the cheaper per tonne cost method. When the supplydemand mismatch is met, it will effectively bring the costs down. The ultimate objective should be how fast a ship
can be turned around at a port. Pre-berthing delay of zero days and turnaround in the fastest time possible should
be the target. That will bring down costs. More mechanisation and modernisation at ports will reduce costs. Also,
it is important to develop infrastructure around the commodity that has to be handled.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mr Chirag Vachhani, Asst Manager - Port & Trading Operation, Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd
Infrastructure is an issue. We are facing some problems with regard to storage as far as the government port is
concerned. Fertiliser is an essential commodity whose distribution is dependent on government policy. As per the
policy, we have to plan the movement of fertiliser. If we have imported in August and the government gives the
supply plan in September or October, we have to store for 30-40 days in the godown. If we store in the port
storage facility, the cost is high. So we have to take it outside which entails a cost of Rs 100-120 per tonne. Then,
taking it to the rail head increases handling cost and handling loss. In Mundra, there is direct unloading through
conveyer belt. That type of infrastructure should be in place at all ports. Another option would be to have a
storage facility in the vicinity of the port, which would reduce cost.

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