Tuticorin Port


Tuticorin Port

Tuticorin Port is one of the 10 major ports in India. It was declared to be a major port on 11th July 1974. It is second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and third-largest container terminal in India after Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Mumbai) and Chennai Port. Tuticorin Port is an artificial port [ [http://www.tuticorinport.gov.in/ Tuticorin Port Webpage] ] . This is the third international port in Tamil Nadu and its second all-weather port. All Tuticorin Port’s traffic handling has crossed 10 million tons from April 1 to September 13, 2008, registering a growth rate of 12.08 per cent, surpassing the corresponding previous year handling of 8.96 million tons [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2008/09/16/stories/2008091650060700.htm Tuticorin Port growth] ] . It has services to USA, China, Europe, Sri Lanka and Mediterranean countries.

History

Tuticorin has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than a century. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Port, initially with wooden piers and iron screw pile pier and connections to the railways. Tuticorin was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868. Since then there have been various developments over the years.

After 1945, Tuticorin Port has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than a century. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Port, initially with wooden piers and iron screw pile pier and connections to the railways. Tuticorin was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868. Since then there have been various developments over the years.

To cope with the increasing trade through Tuticorin, the Government of India sanctioned the construction of an all-weather Port at Tuticorin. On July 11, 1974, the newly constructed Tuticorin Port was declared as the 10th major port 1st April 1979, the erstwhile Tuticorin minor Port and the newly constructed Tuticorin major Port were merged and the Tuticorin Port Trust was constituted under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.

Operations

Tuticorin Port is an artificial deep-sea harbour formed with rubble mound type parallel breakwaters projecting into the sea for about 4 km. (Length of North breakwater is 4098.66 m, length of South breakwater is 3873.37 m and the distance between the breakwaters is 1275m). The Port was designed and executed entirely through indigenous efforts. The harbour basin extends to about 400 hectares of protected water area and is served by an approach channel of 2400 metres length and 183 metres width.

The port handles both container and cruise. It is currently managed by PSA Sical. Due to its strategic location in the southern peninsula and assured round-the-clock operations, the port has been the nerve centre of economic activity in south Tamil Nadu. The port currently handles seven per cent of the total container traffic in India and is an important reason for investment in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu.

The port is badly in need of expansion to handle the increase in traffic. The two container berths in the port are of dimension 370 m length and 10.9 m depth. This limits the port in competing against Colombo port, which has 15 m depth. The Tuticorin Port Trust is investing $1 billion for expansion. This will be done in two phases; the first will deepen the harbour to a depth of 12.8 m and the second will increase it to 14.5 m [ [http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1181793 Tuticorin Port Expansion] ] . In addition to expansion of the outer harbour, proposed upgrades include construction of breakwaters and lengthening the approach channel. The port has been upgraded to handle vessels longer than 245 m [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/04/11/stories/2006041102610700.htm Tuticorin Port Expansion Plan] ] . The advantages of deploying bigger vessels are that the existing restriction on booking can be eliminated and the transshipment at Colombo port can be reduced. The Tuticorin port has the potential to be an international container transhipment hub given its unique geographical location [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2005/06/16/stories/2005061601920700.htm Tuticorin Port Potential] ] . Activity at the port has grown at a rate of 17 per cent per year over the last five years. A large portion of the operations in the port has been privatized, including handling at the first container terminal by PSA Sical [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/thscrip/print.pl?file=2006081400650600.htm&date=2006/08/14/&prd=bl& Tuticorin Port Improvements] ] . A second container terminal has been approved for this port [ [http://www.blonnet.com/2006/11/25/stories/2006112505891000.htm Tuticorin Port Adding Second Container Terminal] ] . Tuticorin port is becoming a gateway for South India to the US, Europe and the Mediterranean following direct sailings to these regions. Of the total exports from the port, 25 per cent were to Europe, 20 per cent to the US, 20 per cent to East Asia including China, 15 per cent to Colombo, 10 per cent to West Asia and the remainder to the Mediterranean.

With this expansion in place, the capacity of the port would double from the existing 20.55 million tonne to 40.60 million tonne of cargo. Once dredging is completed, the port will be able to handle fourth generation container vessels with a capacity of 3,000 twenty equivalent units (TEUs) to 4,000 TEUs. Currently, the port can handle container vessels up to 2,000 TEUs capacity [ [http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=325530 Expansion of Tuticorin Port] ] .

The port is also helping increase the tourism in the region. A new ferry has been commenced between Tuticorin and Colombo.

References


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