Friday, 29 April 2016


Shipping companies see rise in Baltic Dry Index as a blip

Business Standard
The rising trend in the Baltic Dry Index, the benchmark for dry bulk freight, has failed to enthuse Indian shipping companies because most see it as a blip that does not reflect the trade situation. The Index is at 690, up 70 per cent month on month and 95 per cent in the last three months. "There is nothing to be excited about. The jump is purely momentary," said an executive with the Shipping Corporation of India. The grain harvest season in South America is the cause for the blip because freight rates from the region to China have improved. "If the index continues to rise, it will reflect in freight rates for domestic shipping companies," said an executive with Essar Shipping. "This could lead to $8,000-10,000 freight per day, which will help companies cover their interest costs," he added. Shipping Corporation of India, Great Eastern Shipping, and Essar Shipping are leaders in the Indian shipping market.

Nitin Gadkari can't stop dreaming of an Indian wonderland

First Post
It requires amazing gift of the gab or the consummate skills of a conjurer to sell Nitin Gadkari’s idea of India to someone. The Union Transport Minister possesses neither. Yet, he manages it with certain ease. Much before the end of his government’s term in 2019, India will be a changed place in terms of infrastructure, he said during a 50-minute exclusive interview with Firstpost. For instance, he is working on a plan to connect Dehradun with Mansarovar in China by blasting a way through the Himalayas. Similarly, if you have to go to Goa from Mumbai, drive your car onto a Ro-Ro vessel at Bhau Cha Dhakka and drive out at a jetty near Panvel onto the Goa highway near Panvel. In 20 minutes you will be cruising on the highway, he said.
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Narendra Modi asks shipping ministry to build maritime heritage complex in Gujarat

Live Mint
Fascinated by the rich maritime history of India displayed during the recently concluded Maritime India Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the shipping ministry to build a huge maritime heritage complex at Lothal in Gujarat. A senior official from the Prime Minister office, on condition of anonymity, said, “PM wants to have a huge maritime heritage complex at Lothal which is one of the oldest man-made dockyards in India. The complex is likely to be built in public-private partnership and will also have a huge museum displaying India’s heritage of inland waterways and trade through water route.” The official said that the shipping ministry will form a core group to formalize the concept in the coming days and present it before the Prime Minister.

Hyundai to ship cars to Kolkata, too

Business Line
In a first for eastern India, car-maker Hyundai is looking to explore the coastal route for movement of vehicles. Talks in this regard have been initiated with the Kolkata Port Trust, its Chairman, MT Krishna Babu, said here on Wednesday. Finalisation of the project is expected over the next two months with 500 vehicles being moved in the first lot. “Discussions are on with a domestic car-maker for movement of 500-odd cars. This is a part of the coastal cargo movement plan of the Centre and it aims to decongest the road network,” he told reporters during a press conference. As of now the vessel, called as roll-on/roll-off, will load cars from Chennai and they will be unloaded either at Haldia Dock or Kolkata Dock. Details of the project, which include the frequency of such shipments and size of the vessel, are still being worked out.
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JNPT shippers urge authorities to step in to improve cargo clearance

There appears to be no real relief in sight to the supply chain woes that have long plagued Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust costing shippers and the trade in general in more ways than one. Customs house brokers in Mumbai are complaining that slow handling of cargo by container freight stations from terminals to their off-site storage yards is causing long delays in the clearance of import freight and that the delays in turn are producing extra demurrage charges that normally could have been avoided. “Shipping lines are calculating free time from the date of berthing of vessels instead of the date of arrival of a complete lot of containers at CFS. This is resulting in lines demanding detention charges even though the containers are not available at their nominated (chosen by the container line) CFS for delivery,” the BBCHAA said in a complaint lodged with customs authorities at JNPT.

Dhamra port kicks off work on expansion

Business Standard
Adani Group-controlled Dhamra Ports Company Ltd (DPCL) has initiated work on its second phase of expansion, after getting advance possession of 740 acres of land from the Odisha government. The expansion, which is expected to involve an investment in excess of Rs 10,000 crore, would ramp up cargo handling capacity to over 100 million tonne per annum, up from 25 mtpa currently. "We have given advance possession of land to Dhamra Port Company Ltd (DPCL). The land lease agreement is expected to be executed shortly with the port authorities", said an official source. After the expansion, the port will be capable of handling clean cargo, containers, liquid cargo, LNG, containerized cargo and crude oil. Though DPCL had readied its second phase expansion plan, getting land was the key hurdle to go ahead in its plan.
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Quiet first trial of freight corridor

Business Standard
While the nation was busy celebrating the launch of Gatimaan Express, India's first semi-high speed train a month back, Indian Railways was busy scripting history on a parallel front. The government quietly conducted the trial run of the country's first Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) to come up between two districts in rural Bihar. On March 30, Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCCIL), the railway ministry's arm implementing the ambitious Rs 82,000-crore DFC project, ran India's first goods train on a freight-specific track. The train carried 5,265 tonne of clinker, a raw material for cement manufacturing, loaded on 58 wagons on the 56-km new stretch between Durgawati and Sasaram, the bastion of late Dalit leader and the first Union labour minister Jagjivan Ram. The trial run brought India a step closer to joining the select club of nations,

Ocean Alliance set to be largest on Asia - Europe and transpacific trades

Seatrade Maritime
The new Ocean Alliance will have largest capacity share on the east-west trades from Asia to Europe and Asia – North America according to Alphaliner. The new proposed alliance of CMA CGM (including APL), Cosco (including China Shipping Container Line), Evergreen and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) will be the largest alliance on both trades Alphaliner said in its weekly newsletter. Based on April 2017 estimates of capacity on Asia – Europe it would have a 34.5% of total capacity, while 2M comprising Maersk and MSC would have 33.4%, and the remaining lines in a number of different alliances in the trade 32.1% of capacity. On the Asia – North America trade the Ocean Alliance will be the largest single grouping with 38.9% of capacity, 2M has just 15.6%, while the remainder will hold 45.5%.

Kolkata Port Trust lines up projects amounting to Rs 1,256 crore

Business Standard
Kolkata Port Trust is embarking on seven key projects amounting to Rs 1,256 crore in the current financial year to up its tonnage handling capacity and improve cargo handling capabilities. Of the proposed investment, Rs 370 crore will come from internal accruals while the port will opt for public-private partnerships (PPP) for the remaining Rs 886 crore. Slated for completion in a maximum two-year timeframe, it is setting up two outer riverine terminals with a consolidated capacity of 9.3 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum) which will draw in a total capital expenditure of Rs 640 crore while Rs 250 crore will be pumped in developing 5 MMTPA mooring facilities at Sandheads in West Bengal for transhipment of liquid cargo. Another Rs 200 crore will be invested for setting up small-scale LNG storage and distribution terminal among other projects.
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Admiral Feeders launching Jebel Ali - Basra service

Seatrade Maritime
UAE-based Admiral Feeders is launching a new service connecting Jebel Ali with Al Maqal Port in Basra. The weekly service will launch at the end of April with a 500 teu vessel. It will connect NAWAH Port Management run Port of Basra facility, also known as Al Maqal Port, located in the heart of Basra, with the major transhipment hub of Jebel Ali. “The service will allow the shipping lines using Jebel Ali as transhipment hub to offer a cost effective and competitive frequency to Basra and will offer additional supply chain opportunities to Iraq, which is one of the emerging markets in the region”. Calling at Al Maqal Port avoids over 50 km of haulage from the deepwater port of Umm Qasr, which can handle vessels of up to 4,000 teu. Admiral Feeders serves Umm Qasr – Jebel Ali through a slot agreement.

Restructuring of Hanjin Shipping more challneging than that for Hyundai Merchant

Hellenic shipping News
Both Hanjin Shipping Co. and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (HMM) are in hot water, but they are different from each other in a debt structure. Unlike HMM, Hanjin Shipping has a lot of non-bank debt, which makes it difficult for the main creditor Korea Development Bank (KDB) and other creditor banks to manage the company under a creditor-led restructuring program.Hanjin Shipping’s debt owed to banks amounts to 700 billion won ($608.4 million), just 12.5 percent of total debt of 5.6 trillion won, while HMM borrowed 1.1 trillion won from banks, 23 percent of total debt of 4.8 trillion won. A bond market expert said 75 percent of HMM’s corporate bonds worth 800 billion won sold to the public are held by institutional investors such as Nonghyup, Shinhyup and Saemaul Bank, whereas Hanjin Shipping bonds are held by many individuals, meaning it is difficult for the company to push for debt rescheduling.
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Monday, 25 April 2016


Kochi Port cuts losses on better cargo throughput

The Hindu
Traffic throughput at the Kochi port went up by five lakh tonnes during the financial year 2015-16 compared with the previous financial year. The total cargo handled by the port during the last financial year stood at a record 22.1 million tonnes. The increase in cargo traffic has also led to substantial growth in operational income and operational surplus for the port authority. Though there was considerable dip in the movement of oil cargo, handling of containerised and bulk cargo like cement moved up during the period, sources said. The operating income of the Cochin Port Trust increased from Rs.386 crore to Rs.433 crore, and it recorded an operational surplus of Rs.67 crore. The operational surplus in the previous year was Rs.19 crore. The gross figures for the port trust for the period showed a negative influence through large pension liability.

Intergovernmental agreement on dry ports comes into force

Hellenic Shipping News
Developed under the auspices of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the agreement is designed to open up new development prospects for landlocked countries and areas facing the challenges of prohibitive costs and complex logistics to get their goods and services to market. By serving similar functions as ports away from coastal areas, such as consolidation and distribution centres, dry ports can create new economies of scale, reduce transport costs and generate employment opportunities for local populations. The agreement was signed by 17 Asia-Pacific countries in November 2013 and itt came into force after eight of the 17 signatory countries became a party to it. China was the eighth country to approve the agreement.
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Route rationalisation hits Vizag Port

The Hindu
The ban on movement of cargo on certain routes by the Railway Board, as part of ‘route rationalisation’, has proved to be the bane for cargo movement through Visakhapatnam. According to the route rationalisation, freight trains from Visakhapatnam to Nagpur have to travel through Vijayawada and Ballarshah, instead of the shortest route via Raipur. This is a huge burden for exports and imports through Visakhapatnam Port. Though Visakhapatnam Port is closer to Nagpur than JNPT, exporters and importers are forced to move their cargo through the latter port due to the extra cost and time. For cargo coming from South East Asia, Visakhapatnam is the convenient port of call. Otherwise, the ships have to travel for at least three more days to reach the West Coast to unload their cargo.

Uniform GST will lead to a better economy

The e-commerce sector is the fastest growing segment in terms of revenue and shipments. By bringing in revenues it keeps the taxmen happy. But the tax laws in the country have not been upgraded to check a spiralling business based on the ‘cloud’. Firstly e-commerce companies have over time grappled with a complex framework of excise, VAT/CST or service taxes. And the proliferate indirect tax laws have been of no help. They have been more of a hindrance rather than a help for the e-commerce industry. Secondly there is no clarity with regard to categorizing the e-commerce industry. Do their offerings come under ‘services’ or ‘goods’? Should these offerings be charged under VAT or CST or do they come under service tax? Thirdly there has been marked confusion and chaos on the paperwork needed for goods transported from one state to another.

Tight Colombo 380 CST bunker fuel market to ease next week: sources

Firm demand for 380 CST bunker fuel and vessel delays have resulted in tightness for the fuel grade in Colombo, Sri Lanka, market sources said Monday. Only two physical bunker suppliers, Inter-ocean Energy and Lanka Marine Service, have stocks to last them through April 29, the sources said. "We didn't rush into selling our stock, and have been getting good enquiries last week," said a source from Interocean. "We have deliveries tied up till the 29th [of April] and we're selling the balance of our cargoes," the source said. Currently, 380 CST at Colombo is being offered around $255-260/mt, a check with the port's four main bunker fuel suppliers showed. However, all four suppliers said the tightness should ease at the end of the week with the arrival of new cargo.
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Industry still seeks clarification on shipping container weight verification rules

With just a little over two months remaining before new rules for verifying the weight of shipping containers before they are loaded onto cargo ships goes into effect, agricultural-product and other shippers still have many answered questions about how the new system will be enforced. The IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive regulatory framework for worldwide shipping. In May of 2014, the IMO amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rules to require, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified gross mass (VGM). Effective July 1, 2016, any shipping container leaving from any port in the world must be accompanied by a shipping document signed either electronically or in hard copy by the shipper on the bill of lading listing the VGM of a container in order to be loaded onto a ship.

Govt to liberalise plan for some importers

Business Standard
The government will liberalise a programme to allow select importers to make deferred payments and extend to them easier Customs clearance. The move is expected to lower the costs and time for importers. The Customs department is set to revamp the decade-and-a-half-old Accredited Client Programme (ACP) for importers, liberalising the strict pre-requisites to join the scheme, such as no tax show-cause notice in the past three years, a requirement most importers would fail to meet. Members of the scheme would enjoy benefits such as no routine checks for consignments. Importers would face only risk-based checks of consignments. "We will allow payments after 10 days, although selectively," said an official. The deferred payment scheme was announced in the Budget this year. Despite India being an import-dependent nation, the ACP has only 300 members.

Farakka Barrage Project continues to serve India

One India
Farakka Barrage is located in Murshidabad and Malda districts of West Bengal at about 300 km North of Kolkata. It is one of the largest barrage of its kind in the country having a Feeder Canal for a flow of 40000 cusec (1135 cumec) whose bed width is wider than that of Suez Canal. This barrage is important for Bangladesh also as a piece of infrastructure that is of strategic importance to the country and also it acts as a stimulator to its economy. For the state of West Bengal also it servers as lifeline for economic activities. The Feeder Canal originates in upstream at Right Bank of Farakka Barrage and outfalls into the Bhagirathi, right channel of the river Ganga at 40 km downstream of Farakka Barrage.
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India bans import of milk, phones from China

The Dollar Business
Upon determining that China was not adhering to the rules, quality and security, that are necessary to export products, specifically, consumable goods and certain brands of phones and steel, India decided to ban these Chinese products from entering the country. The sub-standard quality or failure to adhere to the rules led to an import ban on milk and milk products, and certain phones from China. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on Friday, stated that the unacceptable quality of the Chinese products was the reason behind the ban. The absence of International Mobile Station Equipment Identity Code and other security features is not acceptable, she said. Besides import ban on certain mobile phones, selected steel products have been stopped from being imported.

Kochi: Workshop on GST

Business Line
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry is organising a one-day workshop on ‘GST and its implications’ here on April 29. Supported by the Union Finance Ministry, the workshop aims to provide an insight into the GST framework and to guide trade and industry on how to prepare for a smooth transition to the GST regime. The workshop will be held at Hotel Taj Gateway. For participation, contact 0484-4058041 or email

Will container weighing be a boost for air?

Air Cargo News
Air freight demand could be the big beneficiary of new maritime rules due for introduction this summer. But a whole range of scenarios are possible, leaving shippers, forwarders, 3PLs, and airlines with plenty of supply chain scenarios to—quite literally—weigh up, according to Wolfgang Lehmacher, Head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries at the World Economic Forum. The new rules from the International Maritime Organization come in the form of an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention’s (Solas) container weighing stipulations. As of July 1, shippers and their proxies will be compelled to verify the gross weight of packed containers on the bill of lading before the box can be loaded onboard a vessel. The move is designed to prevent shipping casualties; misdeclared box weights have contributed to a number of incidents in recent years,..
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Friday, 22 April 2016


Please note the Revised Custom Exchange Rates for Exports & Imports with effect from today i.e. 22-04-2016 as given below :

Foreign Currency
Rate of exchange of one unit of foreign currency equivalent to Indian rupees



(For Imported Goods)
  (For Export Goods)

Australian Dollar

Bahrain Dinar

Canadian Dollar
53. 10

Danish Kroner


Hong Kong Dollar

Kuwait Dinar

New Zealand Dollar

Norwegian Kroner

Pound Sterling

Singapore Dollar

South African Rand

Saudi Arabian Riyal

Swedish Kroner

Swiss Franc

UAE Dirham

US Dollar

Chinese Yuan


Foreign Currency
Rate of exchange of 100 units of foreign currency equivalent to Indian rupees


(For Imported Goods)
  (For Export Goods)
Japanese Yen
Kenya Shilling