Paradip Port Trust (PPT) is planning to host a trade meet at Kalinganagar in October to request industrialists to use the port facility for import and export of their products and raw materials, in order to boost its annual cargo traffic.
The trade promotion event will be held on October 5, when PPT will showcase its ability to handle large cargo often used by steel industry, said an official of the port.
The port has set an ambitious target of 66 million tonne cargo traffic for 2013-14, 17 per cent higher than the amount handled in the previous year. During 2012-13, the port handled 56.55 million tonne cargo, registering 4.2 per cent annual growth.
"We have set a target of 66 million tonne for the current fiscal. As the growth rate has been satisfactory, we will meet the target by the end of this year (2013-14)," said Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra, chairman, PPT.
In September, the port handled about five million tonne cargo, aggregating total traffic handled by the port in the first five months of the current fiscal to 34 million tonne. The major component of the traffic include thermal coal, fertiliser raw materials, coking coal, ferrochrome and iron ore.
Though the port has witnessed substantial rise in all types of cargo in the current fiscal, it wants to diversify its cargo basket to boost traffic that faced a slowdown in the previous year.
In 2012-13, the port had handled lowest ever iron ore cargo traffic due to restrictions imposed by the state and Union government and the competition from the Dhamra port, which shared some iron ore and coking coal traffic.
In this backdrop, the port is exploring various possibilities to drive revenue growth.
"Passenger launch service is one of the aspect that can drive revenue. But we have not made any progress in this regard," said Mishra.
PPT has also evinced interest to participate in coastal shipping to take advantage of the vast coastline in eastern India.
"Coastal shipping must be focused to take some burden off roads and railways. The government of India must initiate some steps in this regard," he said in a trade seminar recently, adding that the port is keen to be a partner in developing the National Waterway 5.
Recently, the state government has taken initiative to develop the Rs 5,000 crore National Waterways-5 by partnering with public sector enterprises and private investors. The proposed waterway will run from Talcher via Kalinganagar industrial area to Mangalgadi (a point in between Paradip and Dhamra) and would connect Paradip to Dhamra to a point near Kolkata.
Apart from waterways project, the port has taken steps to construct a non-fuel liquid terminal to facilitate chemical cargo transport and is in the process of setting up an inland container depot to increase container cargo traffic. Recently, it agreed to provide facility to seafood exporters of the state for shipment of their products.