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Tide turning for Indian supply chains vis-a-vis Colombo transshipments

DATA from the Port of Colombo, which commands most of India's transshipment cargo, suggests that tide has turned in favour of Indian supply chains, reports IHS media

24 February 2020 - 19:00

DATA from the Port of Colombo, which commands most of India's transshipment cargo, suggests that tide has turned in favour of Indian supply chains, reports IHS media.

The cause has been Indian cabotage reform enacted in May 2018 that allows foreign-flag carriers access to Indian coastal markets to move containers for transshipment.



Colombo had respectable growth last year but saw its dominance over Indian cargo loosen drastically amid large-scale capacity expansion efforts, said the report.



For example, the Colombo's 2019 throughput stood at 7.2 million TEU, up three per cent year on year, of which Indian transshipment cargo contributed 4.6 million TEU, a sharp fall from the 5.5 million TEU out of 7.05 million TEU in 2018.



That down trend is even more pronounced when looking at Colombo's mainstay transshipment figures in isolation, inasmuch as Indian relayed freight contributions shrank to 78 per cent, against a total 5.9 million TEU of transshipment, from 96 per cent out of 5.7 million TEU in 2018.



Also noted was that much of last year's growth came from cargo to/from other ports in the region - Karachi, Chittagong, and Dubai. Bangladeshi 2019 cargo totalled 59,552 TEU, up from 52,043 TEU previously.


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