Intra-Asian container trade
is on the rise as emerging trade patterns continue to take hold world-wide, particularly among the developing nations. Increasing containerization of traditionally break-bulk cargoes is another factor which contributes to container infrastructure and terminal demand in developing nations.
Regardless of the fact that India was a slow starter in the container shipping, the time is ripe to step up operations in this segment. India has till date delved more in bulk/ break bulk commodities; thereby enlarging its gap from the list of top international container ports. Though there has been a steady growth in container traffic, the capacities need to be enhanced to effectively handle the kind of traffic in future that is expected.
Indian Government relaxed cabotage law for ICTT, Vallarpadam with a primary objective to attract cargo destined for Indian ports which are presently being transshipped at Colombo and other foreign ports there by bringing growth in container business. However, trade feels that relaxing cabotage for more terminals and for a longer period will make more mainlines calling India and provide economies of scale.