India’s Port of Cochin said it has increased the maximum draft of vessels calling at the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal to 14 meters (about 46 feet) following harbor and channel dredging.
The Vallarpadam terminal is a public-private partnership between DP World and Cochin Port Trust.
“Turnaround of vessels of more than 275 meters (902 feet) and drawing maximum draft of 14 meters will be subject to tide and weather conditions,” the port authority said in a statement.
Draft restrictions had been a major bottleneck to the growth of VICTT, which is designed to compete with other transshipment hubs in the region, particularly Sri Lanka’s Port of Colombo. According to the latest traffic figures, VICTT's box volume from April 2012 to February 2013, the first 11 months of fiscal year 2012-13, fell 3.5 percent year-over-year to 300,000 20-foot-equivalent units.
The Vallarpadam terminal, which is operated as DP World Cochin, was built at an estimated cost of $600 million. The terminal is the first stage in the Dubai-based company’s three-phase development at Cochin, with capacity to handle 1 million TEUs in the initial phase, 1.5 million TEUs in the second phase and 4 million TEUs when fully commissioned.