Container Infrastructure -Market Demand, Growth, Opportunities and Analysis Of Top Key Player Forecast To 2022
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• The current modal mix for cargo transportation (including containers) is skewed towards roads, which accounts for about 60% of the total freight transported.
• At present, container trade volumes account for over 55% of India’s merchandise trade. During 2015-16 and 2016-17, there was an increase in the trade (export and import) of almost all the major containerised commodities.
• India has the second largest road network covering about 5.47 million km. National highways account for 2% of the network and carry 40% of the traffic on Indian roads.
• Further, Indian Railways’ network comprises a total track length of about 119,578 km. Seventeen CTOs own and operate at least 87 rail container terminals and have a fleet of 149 BLC rakes and over 14,400 wagons.
• Indian ports have a container handling capacity of around 24 million TEUs. JNPT has the maximum capacity at 5.88 million TEUs, closely followed by the non-major port at Mundra (5.5 million TEUs).
• Coastal and inland waterways lack dedicated infrastructure for container handling and thus remain largely untapped for movement of container goods.
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• Growth in international trade, particularly containerised commodities such as textile, automobile, auto components, engineering and capital goods as well as increased demand for one-stop solutions with specialised value-added services are driving the demand for containerisation.
• During 2012-13 and 2015-16, there has been a slight increase in the share of container traffic handled by all Indian ports in total seaborne trade; container traffic as a proportion of total sea-borne traffic increased from 15.5% in 2012-13 to 16.2% in 2015-16.
• In July 2016, IR opened its parcel business segment to CTOs. Now, CTOs are allowed to run parcel trains.
• Fluctuating freight rates: The Road Freight Index indicates a marginal increase in freight rates during April to October 2016. However, road freight rates on select routes increased by 7-9% owing to an increase in diesel prices and the festive season. Haulage charges levied on CTOs have been revised 10 times since 2006. With regard to shipping, the World Container Index, a composite of container freight rates on eight major routes, has more than doubled in the last one year.
• The Ministry of Shipping has taken several initiatives to improve container handling at ports. All the 12 major and six non-major ports have been integrated online with the port community system. Indian Customs Electronic Data Interchange system has been implemented at major ports. The Logistics Data Bank Project has been implemented at JNPT, Mundra and Hazira.
• The Ministry of Railways has brought 43 additional containerised commodities under the concessional FAK rates. IR commenced confirmatory trial runs of double stack dwarf container trains. IR has started its first time-tabled container train operations.
• For coastal and IWT container movement, the government exempted customs and central excise duty on bunker fuels used by coastal vessels carrying EXIM cargo or empty containers. The MoS relaxed cabotage restriction for ports that tranship at least half of the containers handled by them.
• Union Budget 2017-18 announcements: Basic custom and excise duty on refrigerated containers have been reduced to 5% and 6% respectively. New plans for developing a specific programme for the development of MMLPs, together with multi-modal transport facilities. Logistics start-ups will be allowed to use the railways for end-to-end solutions.
Key issues and challenges
• Poor physical infrastructure: The quality of India’s road infrastructure remains a major impediment. Further, expansion of the rail network as well as capacity at Indian ports have been very slow.
• India’s freight industry is heavily dependent upon inefficient and costly road transport. This is mainly owing to bottlenecks in hinterland connectivity resulting in higher lead times in cargo movement and higher turnaround time
• Stringent and time consuming custom inspection procedures is another major area that needs attention. There is also a need to provide a level-playing field for CTOs.
• Improving efficiency and throughput, enabling faster evacuation, rationalising tariffs and fees, and modernising berths and port gates by deploying IT solutions are also necessary.
• Six major projects in roads, ports, inland waterways and railways – Bharat Mala, Setu Bharatam, district connectivity, Sagarmala, port-rail connectivity, 106 national waterways development – have been announced by the government in the recent past. These will indirectly benefit the container sector in the future.
• Four port container terminals of 29 mt capacity are planned to be developed in the next 3-4 years. Besides, six container terminals of 158.6 mt are currently under implementation.
• WDFC to be commissioned by 2019-20. CTOs have plan to add three container rail terminals, 6-8 PFTs, 120 rakes and seven trains.
• A total of 16 logistic parks (including six MMLPs) and nine FTZWs are planned to be developed across the country. Besides, a total of 48 IMC-approved ICDs and CFSs facilities are under implementation.
• Under the Sagarmala programme, 16 projects for dedicated coastal berth development have been sanctioned as part of the coastal berth scheme. Besides, plans have been revealed to develop 14 coastal economic zones.
The Way Forward
• According to government estimates, India’s EXIM container traffic is projected to increase to 19.1 million TEUs by 2019-20 and further to 30.4 million TEUs by 2024-25.
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Source: EIN Presswire