Regular container service to Colombo from Kakinada port from Oct. 29

With focus on containerisation on the East Coast, Maersk Line, global container division and biggest operating division of A.P. Moller-Maersk Group is all set to launch scheduled service from Kakinada to the transhipment port of Colombo.

Maersk Line, one of the largest container vessels and part of Danish business conglomerate, will be launching its monthly service from Kakinada on October 29, sources in the port industry told The Hindu .

Maersk Lines are at present being operated from Kolkata-Haldia, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Krishnapatnam and Tuticorin ports. J.M. Baxi Group is now developing container facility at Paradip port.

Visakha Container Terminal Private Ltd (VCTPL), a BOT operator of Visakhapatnam Port Trust with a permissible draft of 16.5 metres has been handling one of the largest Maersk Liners - m.v. Sebarok with overall length of 318 metres carrying 6,000 containers.

VCTPL, developed jointly by Dubai Port World and J.M. Baxi Group in 2003 has the capacity to handle Emma Maersk carrying 15,000 containers. The terminal is now under expansion with an investment of Rs.633 crore to increase the capacity by 0.54 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).

Maersk Line India has been transhipping containers from Kakinada on an experimental basis for past few months since launching of containers at Kakinada Container Terminal (KCT). Following increase in containers to transport cargoes like rice, sugar, paper, chemicals and vegetable oil, Maersk Line India is launching scheduled service from October 29.

KCT had launched commercial operations with transhipment to Colombo and Singapore from November 15, 2015 with the deployment of feeder service by Orient Express Lines. KCT is a joint venture of Bothra Shipping Services Pvt. Ltd, Kakinada Infrastructure Holding Pvt. Ltd Chennai Investments Pvt. Ltd.

KCT achieved a milestone in August with the sailing of the Maersk Line vessel mv KERSTIN S voy 1602 carrying 800 TEUs, the largest parcel size till date. The extra loader was arranged by Maersk for the carriage of this parcel, sailed directly to the destination within two days.

Maersk called into Kakinada in March connecting Colombo and onwards connectivity to West Africa and South Africa.

Managing Director of Maersk (India and Sri Lanka) Franck Dedenis said: "Our feeder service out of Kakinada is a continuation of our belief to be closer to our customers and grow with the market in a profitable manner. This is our commitment to only give customers control of their cargo."

Source: The Hindu