The inauguration of India’s transformative Vizhinjam transshipment container port in Kerala took place on October 13, with the arrival of its maiden vessel, the Zhen Hua. This significant development marks a turning point for India, reinforcing its stature as a maritime powerhouse. The port is poised to accommodate some of the largest vessels in the world, offering a myriad of promising opportunities.
The Vizhinjam port which is being developed by the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) is a deep-sea water port and India’s first mega transshipment container terminal. It is the transship hub in the Indian subcontinent that is closest to the international shipping routes. Vizhinjam port offers large scale automation for quick turnaround of vessels with state-of-the-art infrastructure to handle Megamax container ships. Adani Ports and Logistics revealed that the port’s capacity in phase one is to be 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) and in subsequent phases, another 6.2 million TEUs will be added.
The Vizhinjam port holds the potential to significantly reduce logistics expenses by diminishing the reliance on foreign transshipment hubs, resulting in substantial savings in both cost and time. This port serves as an ideal hub, boasting a natural channel that reaches depths of up to 24 meters below the sea, perfectly accommodating the world’s largest vessels. India had been missing out on these colossal ships, as its existing harbors lacked the required depth to handle them, leading such vessels to dock in Colombo, Dubai, and Singapore ports instead.
The establishment of this port will play a pivotal role in reinforcing India’s ambitions as an alternative manufacturing hub, consequently reducing the logistics costs associated with the movement of goods to and from the country. Moreover, this port functions as a strategic gateway that has the potential to attract a greater share of the maritime trade, a sector currently dominated by China in the Indian Ocean region. This development will stimulate economic growth in India and elevate its standing in the global maritime trade landscape.
The Vizhinjam Transshipment terminal is attracting substantial investments, with Adani Ports committing to invest 200 billion rupees by the year 2030. In the initial phase, the project has already received 77 billion rupees in funding. Adani Ports, with a free cash flow of 70-80 billion rupees, plans to allocate up to 60 billion rupees annually to expand the port’s capacity.
The port represents a significant economic advantage for India, attracting substantial trade that was previously hindered by the absence of a suitable port capable of accommodating larger ships. Additionally, this port has the potential to enhance maritime trade with rimland countries, offering modernized infrastructure in a strategically well-placed location between the Suez Canal to the west and the Strait of Malacca to the east. These two critical chokepoints in the Indian Ocean Region facilitate the passage of 35% of the world’s trade. This positioning exposes India to a broader spectrum of opportunities for expanding its maritime trade potential.
“Vizhinjam transshipment container port— the first of its kind in 🇮🇳— will allow the nation to grab a bigger slice of the international maritime trade.. dominated by 🇨🇳. It will also bolster its aspirations to be an alternative manufacturing hub..” 1/5 https://t.co/IPJTSS4CKR
— Gokul Sahni (@Gokul_Sahni) October 16, 2023