VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is taking steps to transform port as a world-class port. With the complete augmentation of the cargo equipment, rebuilding the age-old berths, adopting new technologies and ensuring easy doing business, Visakhapatnam has emerged as a best harbour on the East Coast. After the five long years of transformation, the port is now registering new heights in its marathon cargo handling services in India. The port is again on the growth trajectory after a lapse of nearly five years. It handled 61.02 million tonnes in 2016-17, achieving a growth of seven per cent and an incremental cargo of four million tonnes. Besides achieving growth in cargo volume, the Port of Visakhapatnam has also established significant improvement in operational efficiency. The average waiting time of a ship has been reduced by 17 per cent. In the current fiscal also, the port is maintaining the momentum by handling 22 million tonnes so far.
“During in the transformation period, the port faced many challenges. However, upgrading and modernisation of the port to compete with the world class ports, is now giving good results. Indian economy has recorded an impressive growth of 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 despite volatility in global markets. The agriculture sector recorded a commendable growth of more than four per cent. The Industry is gaining momentum. With these developments, the major ports will play vital role in boosting the Indian economy,” opined VPT chairman MT Krishna Babu.
The port is geared up to meet any challenges from the competing ports. “Fully-mechanised coal handling facility, VGCB for handling super cape vessels with a draft up to 18.1 m, deepest container terminal that can handle the biggest container vessel in the world, the up-coming refurbished mechanised iron ore handling plant which can handle vessels of 2 lakh DWT are the unique and unparalleled features in the region providing us a competitive edge,” Krishna Babu explained. Port is taking different initiatives for bringing in improvement in ‘Ease of Doing businesses’. Implementation of RFID system at five gates is taken up.Issue of computer generated gate passes has started at two gates. The Port was notified as the second transit port for the EXIM trade of Nepal. The first rake to Nepal, comprising 90 containers, was successfully reached to Nepal. The traders in Nepal are evincing interest in Visakhapatnam and at a later stage, bulk cargo might also be moved from Vizag port.