Aiming High: Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal looking to match global ports

Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal looking to match global ports

Promoted by the Hyderabad-based C.V.R. Group, Krishnapatnam Port is a privately built and owned all-weather, deep-water port on the east coast of India, located in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. Krishnapatnam Port has become the port of choice for all international cargo originating from and destined to southern and central India, and is the first and the only port to implement a single-window clearance system for business facilitation.

The Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT) is one of the fastest growing container terminals on the east coast of the country. Traffic at the terminal grew from 0.06 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in 2013-14 to 0.26 million TEU in 2016-17, a compound annual growth rate of 61 per cent.

During 2016-17, the terminal handled 0.25 million TEU of container cargo, compared to 0.12 million TEU during 2015-16, registering a year-on-year (YoY) growth of 114.98 per cent. Of the total container cargo handled at the terminal, the share of imports decreased from 60.77 per cent during 2015-16 to about 57 per cent during 2016-17. On the other hand, the share of exports increased from 39.23 per cent during 2015-16 to 43.29 per cent during 2016-17.

Developments so far

Phase I of KPCT, which involved the setting up of 1.2 million TEU of capacity, was operationalised in September 2012. The terminal, which has a draught of 13.5 metres, has two berths, with a total length of 650 metres in a straight line. It is equipped with five Super Post-Panamax quay cranes, four rubber-tyred gantry cranes, 10 reach stackers, two empty container handlers and 165 reefer plugs.

In the past year, the port has taken various technological initiatives to improve the overall working and efficiency of the terminal. In June 2017, a cloud-based electronic platform, e-Xpressway, was launched at the terminal. The platform provides services by digitising the end-to-end documentation process, thus benefiting all stakeholders of maritime trade – vessel operators, container operators, terminal operators, freight forwarders, container freight station (CFS) operators, transporters, etc. – in moving export and import containers by either road or rail.

Further, the customs office at Krishnapatnam Port installed its first baggage scanner at the port with the purpose of making the cargo clearance process speedy, safe and efficient.

Krishnapatnam Port  also conceptualised and installed a first-of-its-kind automated fertiliser handling system, to handle the increasing demand for imported fertilisers.

In February 2017, Gateway Distriparks Limited (GDL) completed the construction of the first phase of the logistics park and CFS next to the port container terminal. GDL invested funds amounting to Rs 900 million for the first phase of the logistics park and CFS.

Future plans

The second phase of expansion of the container terminal is expected to increase the total container capacity of the terminal by 4.8 million TEU.

The second phase has seven container berths, with a total berth length of 2,000 metres and 25 rail-mounted quay cranes. With a draught of 18.5 metres, the container terminal has a yard ground slot of over 10,000 TEU and a yard capacity of more than 40,000 TEU. The second phase will have a storage capacity of 100,000 TEU, compared to the operational storage capacity of 20,000 TEU.

Krishnapatnam Port has the potential to become a major container transshipment port on the east coast. Maersk Line has already begun arrangements for using the terminal for its overall transshipment operations. Once these efforts materialise fully, the Maersk Group will use KPCT as its intermediate transloading hub before goods and containers are shipped or transported to a final destination in the hinterland or along the coast. Besides this, the second-phase expansion will witness the development of a dedicated liquid bulk terminal, the development of 42 berths with a capacity of 200 million tonnes per annum, an offshore base set-up and bunkering facility, etc.

To conclude, keeping in view the infrastructural developments and technological initiatives under way as well as those that have been planned at the terminal, Krishnapatnam Port is poised to become the port of choice for all international cargo originating from and destined to south and central India.