Javee wrote:For Vizhinjam to succeed the entire EU/US bound traffic from the southern states should be routed through it. I don't know how feasible it is to send the feeders from Chennai, but from Tuthukudi it is possible.
Thoothukudi (Tuticorin) is definitely possible, but its volumes aren't enough to sustain Vizhinjam. And Colombo is very aggressive in pricing, so it will put up a serious fight for traffic out of Thoothukudi. But Adani seems to think there will be enough transshipment business in Vizhinjam, and his company has taken a terminal in Ennore port, and is also buying Kattupalli's port ops from L&T. Is the plan to route traffic from these ports to Vizhinjam? I am not sure how that will help since Adani does not run shipping lines, but maybe they may offer some discounts for traffic transhipping through Vizhinjam. It's just a guess, but these moves are interesting.
Javee wrote:But need to see how GA sahib will make it a success when DP world couldn't make it work at Cochise ICTT. Just to compare Colombo did about 2 million TEU's while Cochin ICTT did about 27k TEU's. This shows both the potential and challenges for any SI transhipment port.
Is the Kochi ICTT a SEZ (with easier labour laws) or do they have the usual trade unionism?
hnair wrote:- "Transshipment" does not need hinterland cargo. The idea is to have a logistics hub (for lack of a better word) to offload 18,000 TEU and beyond vessels on India's shores, onto smaller feeder vessels and rails. Vizhinjam and Colachel are the closest to the trunk shipping route for that purpose. And also with depth that does not need huge opex dredging. In essence, Vizhinjam and Colachel will be like one of those largish railheads and junctions that one sees in farflung places of India(without large passenger base), but for containers
I think this is the key. Vizhinjam and Colachel will be plugged into the rail network, and it may be faster to move containers from Chennai/CBE and load onto large vessels directly at these transshipment hubs. Why load on to a smaller vessel in Chennai and again transfer onto a larger one, when one can go direct by rail to the larger one?
hnair wrote:- Mr A's group has plans for a largish SEZ (and it is largish as per current reports) over in Kanyakumari district. So hinterland cargo is a future prospect.
Okay, this makes more sense. So Vizhinjam will eventually become a regular port, doing transshipping as well as exports from the hinterland. I mean, like I said in the previous para, Vizhinjam and Colachel's advantage over Colombo will be the direct rail access, which can speed up shipments by a few days, which are today lost in loading on to a smaller vessel at Chennai and going to Colombo. Secondly, the GoTN seems serious about driving investments into southern TN (see my next post), and build up the Madurai-Thoothukudi industrial corridor, anchored by a large industrial zone in Nanguneri, near Tirunelveli. If this takes shape, a hinterland economic engine will take shape, which will require port access. Colachel/Vizhinjam and Thoothukudi are somewhat equidistant from Nanguneri, and exporters might prefer getting on to the big ships direct out of these ports. Thoothukudi may actually lose some business, or at best, not gain additional business due to this corridor.
hnair wrote:- **Probably** Colombo was given a headstart by the earlier NSA, since LTTE endgames were going on and Colombo desperately needed some economic boost. He and the Grand Chettiar seem to have rejected Mr A's earlier successful bid during UPA times, maybe on this premise. Vizhinjam timeline suffered terribly amids these geopolitics. Colombo's grace period is over.
I have heard this reasoning elsewhere as well. Vizhinjam has been talked about for a long time now, without much movement. Now Colombo will need to pull up its socks and look at some serious competition from across the strait.
vina wrote:All this Kochi port business is laughable and Vizhingam even more so.
Not really. As said above, Vizhinjam can evolve into a regular port due to inland investments. See above, and my next post.
vina wrote:Vizhingam is still born as the current state is. The absolutely ONLY way out is to avoid the Coimbatore-Palakkad-Down the length of Kerala business altogether and use the road and rail infra on the TN side fully and go down the NH-7 to Madurai and then get to TVM/ Vizingham via Tenkasi -Shenkottah/Punalur/Aryankavur/Kollam side where the rail line has been made BG I hope (when I last rode it some 30 years ago, it was a very scenic MG line) . You absolutely need a smooth I5 over the mountains into LA kind of upgrade for the Shenkottah-Kollam via Punalur thing for road traffic. That is the only way that this Vizhingam business can be made viable.
Again, not really. You seem to forget the route between Nagercoil and Thiruvananthapuram, which is mostly flat and fast. This is the home of both Vizhinjam and Colachel. And the lines feeding into Nagercoil are all BG, connecting from Chennai/Madurai/Tirunelveli, and mostly doubled and electrified. If this route is fully doubled and electrified from Chennai, it can act as a freight corridor to feed into these ports. This is one of the few IR sections that has sufficient spare capacity and is under utilized by freight traffic. There is a lot of passenger traffic, but currently are restricted to overnight trains to Chennai for the most part. The day time is relatively free, thanks to the excellent intra-state bus connectivity in TN. Also, add more line capacity to the spurs to Karur/Erode and Salem, you have something going here. Western TN can feed into these ports, if getting to Kochi is difficult.
The Shencottah-Punalur section is currently closed and under going gauge conversion, albeit very slowly. Even if completed, I doubt it will help serve much freight traffic, considering newer and easier routes have opened up in the past few decades. This line will only be branch line, serving the local farm communities and the towns of Shencottah and Quilon. The days of relying on the MG Quilon Mail out of Egmore to get to Trivandrum are long gone.
As for roads, the NH-7 goes all the way to Kanniyakumari, and the other roads are reasonably well developed. Upgrading the Nagercoil-TVC highway (NH-47) is a must, of course, but tunnelling through the ghats may not be necessary.
vina wrote:Oh and Ommen Chandy better tell Mrs Gandhi to stop being a dog in the manger and pass the GST in the Rajya Sabha double quick. As a huge consuming state, Kerala stands to gain massively with this GST business and if it aims to be a trans shipment hub, it simply cannot be so without it.
Agreed. Due to land problems, Kerala may not want to bet on large industrial areas like TN, but they should use their geography to become a trading hub. Same as in the past, when most of India's exports to the west went from ports along the Kerala coast. In the present scheme of things, identify ports to serve a particular geography in the hinterland, and go after that traffic aggressively. Kochi should try to get a larger piece of the pie from the CBE/Tirupur and even Bangalore, while the southern Vizhinjam can work on getting traffic from southern TN in the future. Since that area is not industrially developed yet, transshipment is a good option to start with. But the future lies in getting the export traffic from TN. TN of course will want to build up its own ports, but they all suffer from shallower depths and need frequent dredging, and require the dog leg around SL and maybe transshipment to go west. Kerala offers that advantage, which they are not exploiting today.
Bade wrote:There is the direct rail line from ICTT too, so Walayar checkpost and road conditions is not the reason alone, though improvements there will no doubt help. If Vizhinjam flies for transshipment then the existing ICTT can be converted to a big shipyard in the least with CSL being close and a outer harbor built near Vypin Islands as per plans.
The rail line from ICTT is fine, but the real problems are the main southern railway lines from Ernakulam to Wadakkanchery and again from Palakkad to CBE outer through the Walayar gap. Enormous passenger train traffic on the first stretch, that has to stop in innumerable medium sized towns dictated by the most urbanized state, which ends up adding to the general congestion and slows down operations. Our goods trains suffer from slow speeds as is, but they are even slower in this stretch. The Walayar gap is a problem of geography, which innumerable sharp curves on a line built over a hundred years ago necessitating permanent speed restrictions at various sections on the route. The passenger train traffic here is also quite high, so the same problem of congestion continues. SR has tried to relieve this problem by operating the lines between CBE and Palakkad as "twin single lines", which means both tracks are bi-directional and can push more traffic in one direction when needed. Normally, double line sections are uni-directional, i.e. one dedicated track for each direction. But that will only go so far, since ever increasing traffic means there will be very few instances of free slots to push traffic on both lines in the same direction. So the line ends up being used as a regular double line for the most part.
IMHO, for the Kochi ICTT to succeed, a DFC is needed from Jolarpettai (JTJ) to Kochi. JTJ acts as a catchment for Bangalore, Chennai (to an extent), the upcoming Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor, and the giant western TN region anchored by CBE. Kochi can definitely play a role in exporting from this area.