World’s biggest ship skips India in blow to its trade goals

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal of turning India into the world’s workshop is at risk of being thwarted by the country’s inability to attract larger container ships due to inadequate port infrastructure.

Most of the harbors along India’s coast are not deep enough to receive ships like the Ever Alot, the world’s largest cargo ship 400 meters long and with a capacity of more than 24,000 20-foot equivalent units. Neighboring Sri Lanka as well as Malaysia have in recent months received visits from Ever Alot, which can rival the Empire State Building in length.

India’s largest state-run container handling facility, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, lacks the draft of 17 meters needed for such vessels to navigate. One facility that was supposed to be able to handle the giant monster – Mundra Port, run by billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate – has so far been ignored. The 17,292 TEU APL Raffles vessel is the largest vessel to dock in January 2022 with 13,159 TEUs on board.

Shailesh Garg, director of Drewry Maritime Advisors, said: “Super large ships offer economies of scale. However, increasing vessel size alone will not help speed up the process of transporting goods to and from inland. He said road and rail links from the port to warehouses, factories and shops also need to be improved.

According to a report by the Reserve Bank of India in 2022, poor transport connections have hindered India’s integration into global value chains. The country scored 34% on the GVC participation index compared with 45.9% for the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. RBI said. Vietnam is above 50% on the scale, according to a separate report.

The Port of Mundra hosted APL Raffles three years after Vietnam welcomed a vessel of its kind, illustrating how Asia’s third-largest economy is at risk of falling behind in the competition for trade share. larger as businesses move away from China. Mundra is India’s highest-ranked port in terms of operational efficiency, coming in at number 48 in an index compiled by the World Bank Group and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Weak infrastructure is undermining Modi’s goal of raising the share of manufacturing to 25% of gross domestic product from 14% and increasing the share of the nation’s global merchandise exports to 3% by 2020. 2027 and 10% in 2047, up from 2.1% now.

AP Moller-Maersk A/S said in an email in response to questions: “Existing port and terminal infrastructure in India limits the ability of super-large vessels to take full advantage. at the wharf used for loading and unloading goods, capacity through the port.”

According to Maersk, the world’s second largest container shipping line, another thing to consider is that India’s importers and exporters are spread across the country, and sending and receiving goods through a closer port saves costs and more time. to their activities.

“In such a case, smaller vessels offer the flexibility to go to more ports and ship less volume than centralizing a single hub,” Maersk said.

“Developing maritime capabilities will be key to competing with China and other emerging manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia and other regions,” said Drewry’s Garg. China has a much more developed and efficient port and logistics infrastructure.”

In terms of container throughput, India’s 16 million TEU as of December 2020 compared with China’s 245 million TEU, according to London-based data analytics firm CEIC Data.

Although only 0.7% of the global container fleet in operation consists of ships with drafts of 17 meters or more, these larger vessels are becoming more important to Europe’s trade and China. It is a route that India can join due to its strategic location between the Suez Canal and the Strait of Malacca.

Vizhinjam Port in Kerala, southern India is a deep sea structure with a natural draft of 20-24 meters so it is able to attract larger ships. Roy Paul, a spokesman for the Adani Group, which is developing the project, said it expected it to be operational by 2024.

Another port in Maharashtra with a natural draft of 18 meters is expected to be completed by 2028, according to the government’s India Maritime Vision 2030.

This story was published from the wire dealer’s feed without text modification.

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