With the aim of attracting more container cargo from places like Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Pollachi and Tirupur, Cochin Port is reportedly offering a 50 per cent discount in vessel-related charges to ships sailing directly to West Asia, according to Exim News Service.
While maintaining that there was huge potential to attract containers for direct transit to destinations like Jebel Ali, Port sources said that the non-competitive rates were discouraging ex-im business from Cochin. As there was substantial volume to Jebel Ali from Cochin, Chennai and V.O. Chidambaranar ports, they believe that the reduced tariff, coupled with less transit time, would attract cargo from the hinterland.
Shipping community sources apprised that operators offering direct sailings to Jebel Ali were willing to use Cochin, provided vessel-related charges were more competitive.
The Port Trust was prompted to consider offering the concession after recent estimates put the total ex-im cargo to and from Jebel Ali at more than one lakh TEUs a year. It is learnt that the offer will be in force till September-end on experimental basis.
Sources have expressed confidence that Cochin Port would benefit from the competitive rates as it would be able to attract enough containerised cargo to make up for the revenue loss. The latest concession is in addition to the prevailing main line and foreign feeder vessel concessions.