In a first, a mainline vessel has arrived at the Dhakshin Bharat Gateway container terminal of the VOC port, reports The Hindu.
The inaugural call of the mainline vessel was done through video conferencing by the Union Minister for Shipping Nitin Gadkari, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Ministers of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan and Mansukh Mandaviya.
“With its high potential, the port will soon become a transhipment port shortly,” Gadkari said. He also said that it would be a game changer in container traffic of south India, making the port a mainline vessel port.
M.V. Wan Hai 510, the mainline vessel, is a Panamax class container with an overall length of 268.8 m and a breadth of 32.2 m and has a container carrying capacity of 4,333 TEUs. Handling of mainline vessels would reduce expenditure by $50 per container, as the need for transportation of goods using feeder vessels from mainline vessels at the Colombo port is expected to come down.
The port, over the last four years, has made investments up to Rs 1,500 crore for improvement of infrastructure, including commissioning of a coastal berth, mechanisation of berth 9, modernisation of two coal jetties, the introduction of two coal berths, three harbour mobile cranes and rail connectivity to Hare island.