What shipping will look like in 2016

Prime Minister NarendraModi’s work experience in Gujarat, India’s top maritime state, has given a strong impetus and direction to the sector

What shipping will look like in 2016A government with a much better understanding of the maritime industry partly due to NarendraModi’s work experience in Gujarat, India’s top maritime state, has given a strong impetus and direction to the sector.


The year of coastal shipping 2016 could well be the year for India’s coastal shipping sector to come of age. This hitherto neglected sector, is now being propped up for its features such as environment-friendliness, fuel efficiency and much cheaper mode of transport for moving cargo along the country’s vast coastline stretching 7,500 km. The government and the state-owned ports have offered many incentives to promote the sector by easing archaic rules, granting rate discounts and even relaxing a local shipping law that prohibits foreign registered ships from operating on local routes to carry cargo.

Revival of shipbuilders

After a long, dry spell, India’s shipbuilders will likely see new orders trickling in during 2016 on the back of a 10-year policy package announced by the government in December. Local shipyards would be able to quote competitive prices while negotiating new orders with fleet owners as the policy has removed the cost disadvantages they faced compared to global rivals. Besides, local yards will get a financial incentive from the government on each ship they build. The revival of the shipbuilding sector is a key part of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Port sector shake-up on the cards

India’s ports sector will see a shake-up in 2016 with the union government drafting a new legislation to run the 12 ports it own. These 12 ports are currently run as trusts which restrict their expansion and growth. The planned new law will be a prelude to their eventual conversion into corporate entities and bring them on par with the ports owned by the state governments but are given to private ports for development and operations.

What shipping will look like in 2016Farewell to TAMP

The Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), the agency that regulates the rates at the 12 ports owned by the union government, may be scrapped in 2016, capping years of protest by private firms running cargo terminals at these ports and the ports themselves. The winding down of TAMP will level the playing field between major ports (those owned by the union government) and the non-major ports (those owned by the state governments). The latter’s freedom to set rates has been attributed to their phenomenal success in recent years.

Solarization of ports

The shipping ministry has launched an initiative to implement utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant projects at major ports. The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has been appointed as the overall project management consultant. The plan includes installing grid connected solar power plants and rooftop solar power projects at various ports with the twin objective of making them ‘green ports’ and to reduce the dependence on more costly sources of power.

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