Maersk adds Kakinada to India-Africa service

India Special Correspondent | Mar 18, 2016 11:06AM EDT

Kakinada Port, India’s new alternative east coast gateway that began container-handling at the end of last year, got its first break from a mainline customer with Maersk Line introducing a direct port call at the minor privately-operated facility as part of what the container line said was “moving closer to shippers and seeking new growth areas.”

In a customer advisory, the Danish carrier said its Mesawa service connecting the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa will offer regular, weekly calls at Kakinada.

The expanded Mesawa rotation is as follows: Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Mundra, Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port) and Kakinada, India; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Durban, South Africa; Luanda, Angola; Pointe Noire, Congo; Apapa and Tin Can Island, Nigeria; Cotonou, Benin; Port Elizabeth and Durban, South Africa; Port Louis, Mauritius and back to Jebel Ali.

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“We are excited to announce the addition of Kakinada in the list of our port of calls with a fixed vessel schedule. This is a continuation of our belief to be closer to our customers and grow with the market in a profitable manner,” Maersk said. “By providing our services in Kakinada, we are not only giving customers control of their cargo, but also helping them expand their businesses globally.”

Kakinada Container Terminal is a joint venture between Singapore’s PSA International and two local groups: Kakinada Infrastructure Holdings and Bothra Shipping Services. The Kakinada port complex, which is located between Visakhapatnam and Chennai, is under the control of Andhra Pradesh State Authority.

“At present, no container facility is available at the port. By providing such facilities, Maersk Line is helping to create a dynamic business platform,” Maersk said. “Convenience of stuffing and de-stuffing operations within the port area will promote operational efficiency.”

The Kakinada container facility comprises a quay length of nearly 1,000 feet and a set of cargo-handling equipment like harbor cranes and reach stackers, with an annual capacity of about 200,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units.

Port statistics compiled by show Kakinada Port handled about 18 million tons of cargo in fiscal year 2014-15, which ended March 2015.


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