Thursday, October 15, 2009

India Freight Shipping and Logistics News Summary

A takeaway from the subcontinent
Shipping News Feature

SHIPPING - Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), a leading marine services provider, has reopened its Goa office. The move is a response to an increased interest in India as the projections for the subcontinent portray a potential economic giant in the not so distant future.

ISS’ Goa operation will act as a hub for its Government Services division whose core functions include port operations, integrated logistics, base operations and humanitarian aid. The office will coordinate vessel husbandry operations for all the major ports of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Seychelles & Mauritius.

Akbar Khan, Vice President of ISS’ Government Services Division said: “ISS Government Services has been handling all its port operations and related activities across India from Dubai since 1994.

“With the opening of our own dedicated hub office and a team of well trained personnel, we will now be able to provide an enhanced range of quality assured services to our clients calling in this region.”

RAIL – Indian Railways reports that freight tonnage and revenues were up in April – September in comparison to the same period last year.

According to a press release the Railways carried 427.82 million tones of cargo, an increase of nearly 6.5 percent, and revenues increased by 7.5 percent to 274.1429 billion rupees ($ 5,962,250,000).

Indian Railways has also announced that it is to carry out feasibility studies into developing rail links into Nepal and Bhutan. The moves, though most likely implemented as a counter to increasing Chinese influence in the region, could prove a boon to trade links.

With China’s own rail links to Nepal under consideration it may soon be possible to catch a train from Shanghai to Mumbai!

AIR – The Indian government has announced it is willing to bailout ailing carrier Air India to the tune of 50 billion rupees ($1.1 billion) if the airline is able to find a similar amount through extra revenue and cost-cutting.

Praful Patel, India’s Aviation Minister, has managed to get striking pilots to agree to go back to work and affirmed the government’s willingness to back the airline if the it can meet its targets.

Air India posted losses of $625 million in its last financial year. Its pilots went on strike in September in response to management plans to cut pay incentives.

ROADS – Truck manufacturers have seen a growth in demand with Ashok Leyland, TATA and VE Commercial Vehicles all recording increases in sales from previous months.

K Sridharan, CFO at Ashok Leyland, said: “We are running our plant to full capacity, where we are scaling up production to 8,000 units a month to meet the increased demand. There is a phenomenal growth registered in multi-axle and tractor vehicles.”

The growth has been attributed to heavy funding being given to infrastructure projects by both the government and private investment and to increased liquidity in the Indian economy.