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Essar Shipping eyes more revenue from cargo handling

MUMBAI: Essar Shipping aims to increase third-party cargo handling to 50% of its total revenue by 2020 from 30% at present, as the company engages with companies in India and the Gulf, trying to make up for loss of captive business after the parent group’s oil refining company was sold and the steel business got stuck in bankruptcy proceedings.

“We are working with steel companies, not just in India but also Qatar and Bahrain among other Middle Eastern markets. We are focusing a lot on the Gulf areas which are in close proximity to us,” CEO Ranjit Singh told ET in a recent interview. The company needs to look for new clients with a chunk of its captive business gone.

Essar Oil was sold to Russian oil giant Rosneft, fund UCP and Swiss commodities trader Trafigura for £12.9 billion last year. Essar Steel is under insolvency[3] proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal. Essar Shipping[4] has also bid for the tender floated by staterun oil marketing companies Bharat Petroleum Corp[5] and Indian Oil Corp for carrying crude oil. Some clarity on the bids will emerge by end of April, said Singh, adding the company is looking to acquire a very large crude carrier (VLCC) and a Suezmax if it wins the deal.

Essar Shipping handled 13.06 million tonnes of cargo in FY17 and registered a 28% growth in total cargo tonnage in the third quarter of FY18. The company is set to increase capacity from 15-16 million tonnes to 20-21million tonnes by FY19 with increase in tonnage and higher operational efficiency. The company operates a fleet of 14 ships that include two VLCCs, one capesize ship, six mini-capesize ships, one panamax bulk carrier, two supramax bulk carriers and two 13,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT) general cargo ships.

Analysts said getting fresh third party business wouldn’t be so easy in these times of still weak economic activity and oversupply in shipping capacity. “Charter rates are still on a downward spiral and there are numerous players in the market. The problem of overcapacity persists and it would be difficult to get new business for a player,” said a senior analyst who didn’t want to be named.

Singh said that while the dry bulk has improved since its downward spiral starting 2008 — the benchmark Baltic Dry Index has increased four times from its February 2016 low — the crude segment has hit “rock-bottom”.



  1. ^ Shipping (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  2. ^ bankruptcy (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  3. ^ insolvency (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  4. ^ Essar Shipping (economictimes.indiatimes.com)
  5. ^ Bharat Petroleum Corp (economictimes.indiatimes.com)

Workers’ protest hits cargo operations in Paradip port

Workers staging demonstration in the port on Friday | Express PARADIP: Operations in Paradip port were affected on Friday after hundreds of workers engaged with various stevedoring agencies staged protest against illegal transfer of some of their men who were demanding eight hours of work.The agitating workers sat on a dharna in the prohibited area of the port and demanded revocation of the transfer order. Protests will be intensified if the demand was not met, they threatened.

Sources said loading and unloading of cargo on vessels, including transportation, were severely affected in the port due to the strike. As per reports, nearly 2,500 workers of stevedoring agencies have been pressed into service for cargo operation in Paradip port. Most of the workers are working for 16 to 18 hours at a stretch which is unsafe as per Industrial law.

Earlier, they had demanded eight-hour work a day. However, their demands were ignored.On January 8, the workers had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shipping Ministry, Chairman of Paradip Port Trust (PPT), Jagatsinghpur Collector and SP besides the Labour Commissioner to consider their demands and provide a safe working atmosphere to them. After their demands went unheard, the workers had staged a dharna on January 17.

Fifteen workers who were leading the protests were transferred to Lanjigarh in Jharsuguda district by the authority of Odisha Stevedoring Ltd (OSL), the agitators alleged.A senior PPT official said the workers’ protest hit cargo operations till Friday afternoon. Normalcy was later restored after the agitators called off their stir after discussions and joined their duties. Vice-president (HR) of OSL PK Panda assured the agitators that discussions will be held with the workers on March 29 on the issue and no action will be taken before the talks.

Disciplinary action will be discussed and finalised in the meeting.

King Abdullah of Jordan visits Schiphol cargo facilities

The king of Jordan has paid a visit to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, viewing the Joint Inspection Centre (JIC) and learning how freight can be handled in a safer, more efficient manner. His Majesty King Abdullah II and a delegation of Jordanian officials including minister of industry and trade, Yarub Al Qudah; and the kingdom’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Ahmed Al Mufleh visited the airside of Schiphol and were shown an example of the inspection journey that a package arriving at Schiphol SmartGate Cargo undertakes during the import process at the JIC. The samples went through JIC’s ULD control scanner and a further manual inspection was carried out by personnel of the Customs Authority to identify other potential risks.

The Jordanian guests were welcomed by Haarlemmermeer deputy mayor, Ap Reinders; Royal Schiphol Group president and chief executive officer (CEO), Bert Wiersema, Customs acting CEO; Customs Schiphol Cargo deputy director, Evert de Jager; together with Panalpina managing director for the Netherlands, Rob de Vos and Lodewijk van de Vosse from the Panalpina Perishables Network. The JIC is designed to make freight handling safer and more efficient by allowing different law enforcement and inspection authorities to carry out checks in close cooperation with business partners. De Vos says: “The event had the aim to assess the import processes of perishables and their effectiveness as part of a public-private cooperation; essentially, how these processes can have a positive impact on the speed of handling cargo by private entities without compromising security.”

The second part of the visit focused on the public-private cooperation model used for the logistics of perishables, and the tour was under guidance of Panalpina with checks performed by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. Panalpina relocated some perishables that were in transit to the JIC to highlight the cooperation model and demonstrate that less control by public authorities does not compromise security and can foster efficiency. Van de Vosse says: “Very stringent requirements need to be fulfilled to be part of these processes.

We are proud to work together with our partners at Schiphol and the authorities to ensure every step of the way is handled in the safest and most efficient way.

“This is something we aim to do throughout our global Perishables Network.”

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