The Port of Nhava Sheva is India's largest port handling almost half of the country's maritime traffic. - Supplied photo
Dubai - Nhava Sheva terminal near completion, will add 800,000 TEU.
India is one of the largest trading partners of the UAE with the relationship existing for centuries and DP World believes that the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will only further endorse and build on this legacy.
The UAE and India agreed to elevate their economic and investment relations to a new level by setting up a $75 billion infrastructure fund and to boost two-way trade by 60 per cent over the next five years. The new fund has been designed to support the expansion of India's network of railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors.
DP World, which has five ports in India - DP World Nhava Sheva, DP World Chennai, DP World Cochin, Mundra International Container Terminal, Visakha Container Terminal - is now all set to complete the 330-metre terminal project at Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal, which will add 800,000 TEU to capacity in the region. The terminal will be able to accommodate some of the largest vessels calling at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. The wharf is equipped with the world's largest and technologically-advanced quay cranes (four super post panamax QCs - 22 across/twin lift) and was constructed in record time.
The Port of Nhava Sheva is India's largest port handling almost half of the country's maritime traffic. India's first privately-managed container terminal is the company's flagship operation in the Indian Subcontinent with links to a wide network of inland container depots in Pune, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Ludhiana and New Delhi through two sets of railway sidings, which ensure efficient operation.
The terminal - with a capacity of 1.2 million TEU - is well connected to India's major highway and rail networks, which give access to neighbouring Mumbai and to the hinterland of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and most of North India.
"Our Asia-Pacific and Subcontinent Region delivered an improved performance in the second quarter of 2015 and the recent capacity addition at Nhava Sheva should provide further room for growth. We operate five container terminals in India with a total capacity of 4.8 million TEU and quay length of 3,167 metres, a container rail service and container freight stations," Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of DP World, told Khaleej Times in an interview.
"We were first a private partner in 1997 at Jawaharlal Nehru Port with the Nhava Sheva container terminal and we have played a key role in serving India's growing trade over more than a decade. We redefined the container terminal business by bringing new technology, world class infrastructure and international operating practices to the country."
Asked if the company is also targeting more ports in India, the chairman said: "We are always on the lookout for opportunities that make business sense and and respond to our customers' needs. Our immediate focus is on delivering quality and value to our customers across the supply chain."
The company is currently investing in technology that enables trading transactions to be conducted far quicker than ever before.
"We always seek to improve port community systems through IT-enabled processes such as e-payments and mobile app platforms. One example is the introduction of gate automation services at our terminals with trucks no longer having to stop to finalise entry and exit transactions or obtain gate passes, so easing congestion at port entry points," added Bin Sulayem.
Trade between India and the UAE in fiscal year 2014-15 crossed $59 billion, with Indian exports worth $33.3 billion to the UAE and $26 billion worth of UAE exports to India, thus making the UAE one of India's top trading partners.
According to projections, India will remain the UAE's top export destination until 2030, leaving Japan and China in second and third positions, respectively. Currently, UAE investments in India are estimated to be $8 billion of which around $3.01 billion as of January 2015 is in the form of foreign direct investment.
DP World has intermodal rail services, which is offered across the country for container transportation with an all-India Railway permit and offers container freight station services in Mundra, Cochin and Chennai.
DP World Chennai, with a capacity of 1.1 million TEU, is the first container terminal built at Chennai Port, which is South India's largest gateway to container trade. Situated on the Coromandel Coast of South-East India, the port of Chennai is strategically located and well connected with major parts of the world and is one of the major hub ports on the Indian subcontinent and is capable of handling fifth generation vessels up to 6,400 TEU.
A container freight station, or CFS, with a covered area of 6,500sqm operates within the port offering such services as inspection, LCL de-stuffing and delivery of import cargo. The presence of the CFS within the port premises enables prompt and convenient services to importers as well as passengers including swift trans-shipment of LCL cargo to inland container destinations such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Cochin, Pondicherry and other locations.
DP World Cochin, with a capacity of one million TEU, the first trans-shipment terminal in India with global standards of efficiency and productivity, has a capacity to handle 15 trains a day - 90 TEU per train.
The Mundra International Container Terminal with a capacity 1.2 million TEU, is open all year round, has no tidal restrictions and is well connected by road and rail with links to all the major cargo centres in the northwest hinterland. It was first container terminal in Gujarat to handle one million TEU in 2014.
The Visakha Container Terminal, or VCT, has capacity of 0.7 million TEU with plans to expand it to two million TEU by 2020, subject to market demand. It manages and operates a container terminal under the aegis of Visakhapatnam Port Trust under a BOT basis. Located in centre of India's East Coast and closest to the Malacca Straits, VCT is an ideal gateway for container traffic from states of Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, and Madhiya Pradesh and West Bengal. VCT is evolving as a regional transshipment hub in the Bay of Bengal with containers from Kolkata, Haldia, Paradip, Kakinada, Chittagong and Yangon getting transshipped here.