Developing multimodal evacuation facilities at existing port terminals is needed to reduce congestion: Rajiv Agarwal

In an exclusive interview with Construction Times, Mr Rajiv Agarwal - Managing Director, Essar Ports shared his views on how India is playing important role in transit cargo movement.

Here are excerpts from the interview.

How do you see the port-led development giving a boost to cargo movement and India becoming a transit cargo hub?

Vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics cost boosting trade with minimal infrastructure investment. The initiative paves way structural and sustainable growth in India with anchor being Port. This will open up a large range of opportunities be it Brownfield or Greenfield. As India charts its way towards USD 5 Trillion economy, there will be pockets production and consumption centers. This will not only enhance trade flows but also new channels.

With strong domestic consumption (demand) and boost in manufacturing the nation is well positioned to be one the important trade hubs.

What according to you are the challenges and opportunities that come along with the port-led development for players like you?

The logistics sector has an indispensable role to play in nation-building. However, there are certain factors which the industry players need to work on to stay ahead of competition, such as increasing operational efficiency through mechanization of non-mechanized terminals, reducing pre berthing delays and improving turnaround time. Technology and digitization will play a key role in this.

There is also a need to have deeper draft at existing and new ports to accommodate larger size vessels. Developing multimodal evacuation facilities at the existing port terminal facilities, with key focus on a comprehensive Rail/ Road connectivity, is needed as it will reduce congestion considerably.

Additionally, the sector requires low cost financing to fund projects in view of slow cargo build-up and long gestation period. Like government enjoys low cost financing for debt & equity, similar type of funds and low cost instruments should be opened for private sector.

How is the company geared up to cash in these developments and what are your plans on expanding your services and adding new capacities. Also, tell us about the adoption of technology by the company.

Essar Ports specialises in development and operations of Ports and Terminals for handling dry bulk, liquid, break bulk and general cargo. With 110 MMTPA capacity it has four operational terminals spread across the east and west coasts of India, with two in Gujarat (Hazira and Salaya) on the west coast, and one each in Andhra Pradesh (Visakhapatnam) and Odisha (Paradip) on the east coast.

While staying committed to our vision of providing world-class solutions by enhancing operational efficiency and undertaking modular expansions at our existing facilities, we are also actively diversifying our cargo and customer base. We are open to new opportunities, which the sector will offer in line with the proactive steps taken by the Government.

Keeping technology and innovation at core, Essar Ports shall continue to offer services that create value for our customers throughout their supply chain.

———————————————————————————————————————————-

Mr Rajiv Agarwal, Managing Director, Essar Ports quoted in Construction Times cover story “Sagarmala : Sea of Opportunities”.

“Vision of the Sagarmala Programme is to reduce logistics cost boosting trade with minimal infrastructure investment. The initiative paves way structural and sustainable growth in India with anchor being Port. This will open up a large range of opportunities be it brownfield or greenfield. As India charts its way towards USD 5 trillion economy, there will be pockets production and consumption centers. This will not only enhance trade flows but also new channels. With strong domestic consumption (demand) and boost in manufacturing the nation is well positioned to be one the important trade hubs,”

Click here to read the full article

Source: Construction Times (November 2021)