India: Pipavav Port in Modernization Mode
The very first double stack high cube container train left APM Terminals Pipavav on July 17th, carrying 180 TEUs destined for Container Corporation of India (CONCOR’s) new double stack hub at Kathuwas in the northwest Indian State of Rajasthan.
Double stack rail service was pioneered at Pipavav Port in 2006 by APM Terminals Pipavav and the Indian Railways when the very first double stack train carried containers on the Jaipur-Pipavav route, linking the port in Gujarat to the Capital of Rajasthan, which borders Gujarat to the north, and is India’s largest state in area. Service at that time was limited to standard height 8’6” containers due to infrastructure limitations on the route.
APM Terminals Pipavav, the Indian Railways and Gujarat Electricity Company (GETCO) have worked in a joint effort to elevate or clear the existing structural impediments to high-cube containers, which are 9’6” in height, enabling the deployment of high-cube double stack trains, which require a clearance of 19 feet (5.8 meters) above the rail car platform. While a standard 40’ container can carry 67.7 cubic meters of cargo, a 40’ Hi-Cube container can carry 76.4 cubic meters of cargo, increasing efficiency and reducing transportation costs particularly for light cargos such as textiles.
“We have achieved a significant milestone in our goal to become the most preferred port on the west coast of India through this new investment in infrastructure and technology” said APM Terminals Pipavav Managing Director, Prakash Tulsiani.
One year ago, in July 2012, APM Terminals Pipavav, which is a privately owned facility, set an Indian national record for ports by handling 14 container trains in a single day. An expansion now underway at Pipavav will include a new container berth of 348 meters for a contiguous berth of 735 meters, capable of simultaneously working two post-Panamax vessels, additional dredging, three new post-Panamax cranes, and 10 new RTGs, which will increase annual throughput capacity to 1.5 million TEUs. Pipavav, one of India’s fastest-growing ports, handled 570,000 TEUs in 2012.
“We believe the commencement of double stack high cube trains will be a game-changer for not just us but the country at large and translate to even more efficient and speedy delivery to the end-users throughout India” said Mr. Tulsiani.
Press Release, July 24, 2013