MSC Shifts Transhipment Operations to Indian Ports Amid Singapore Congestion


Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s largest container carrier, has increasingly started using Indian ports such as Kamarajar and Visakhapatnam for its transhipment operations as congestion in Singapore force some containers lines to omit calls at the world’s second busiest container port, reports Economic Times.


For instance, the Visakha Container Terminal Pvt Ltd, run by J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Ltd, handled some 70,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in May for the first time.

This has helped boost volumes at the container terminal run by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) at Kamarajar port, where a unit of MSC has recently acquired a 49 percent stake. As a result, the Kamarajar container terminal is almost full.

APSEZ’s flagship port at Mundra is also gaining from the congestion in Singapore.

On May 26, Mundra docked ‘MSC Anna’, the largest container ship yet to call an Indian port. The vessel having a length of 399.98 metres (roughly the size of four football fields) can carry 19,200 TEUs. During its visit, the ship loaded and unloaded 12,500 TEUs.

Last week, the international container transhipment terminal at Vallarpadam run by Dubai’s DP World at Cochin Port, berthed the 15,934 TEU capacity ‘MSC Mara’, the largest container ship to dock at the facility.

Port congestion has returned to haunt the container markets, with Singapore becoming the latest chokepoint, shipping consultancy Linerlytica said.

The congestion at Singapore port is chiefly a fallout of ships diverting via the longer Cape of Good Hope route (instead of the shorter Suez Canal passage) to help avoid attacks by Iran-backed Houthi militants in the Red Sea since October last year.

While the volumes have started seeing a small dip since April at some of the container terminals in India, transhipment by MSC is coming to the rescue, the industry executive mentioned earlier said.

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Source: Economic Times