India which claims to become a top global economy is far behind Sri Lanka, Turkey, Egypt and Moracco in the liner connectivity ranking given by the World bank. The bank powered index says India is far behind these countries in liner connectivity meaning the number of liner vessels calling at Indian ports.

A number of factors could be attributed to this rating. A key issue in Indian ports remains the lack of proper deep-water ports. While the ports in the west coast have better infra in terms of port infrastructure and rail connectivity, the east coast ports present a pathetic picture on both these fronts. The average draft in all the public sector ports is around 15 to 16 meters while world over the drafts in their ports are around 20 meters.. The lack of proper bunkering hubs is another issue, since India has never been an oil major. As if to complement them all, none of India’s ports are on the International shipping route either. The port sites like Colachel which is bang on the international shipping lane or the VOC Port Tuticorn not far from the lane have been rejected by the shipping ministry for a Transshipment hub for reasons best known to them. Instead the government has chosen the Nicobar island for the project brushing aside serious concerns from environmentalists. Indian government has invited bids for the building of an International Container Transshipment terminal at Andaman and Nicobar for an estimated Rs 41,000 crore (US5 billion) to develop a deep water international port that can cater to the Transshipment needs of South East Asia.

But, with the new crown of the world’s largest population, growing to 2050, there is still a sky-high level of consumption remaining in the backend to knock on the global trade doors. With a major portion of Indian transshipment trade still reliant on Colombo, it will be the onus of new terminals such as Vizhinjam, Trivandrum to convert opportunities

World Bank-powered index finds China, South Korea, Singapore and the United States in the top four positions in terms of liner connectivity a crucial factor in the movement of EXIM Cargo. China handles gargantuan volumes, thanks to its successful infrastructure capabilities backed by hinterland-level strategy planning right from the state and port levels. The arteries of inland waterways further boost connectivity, placing it much ahead of South Korea and Singapore.

South Korea is ahead of Singapore. South Korea’s operational efficiency and the burgeoning China-South Korea trade along with it being a vital cog in the Far East trade, puts the country well on the connectivity index. Singapore being the vital cog in South East Asia and the Oceania islands in the Pacific, is a key feeder hub comes close with the US in fourth place.  India has been pipped by the likes of Sri Lanka, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco in the liner connectivity rankings.

Source : porttoport