JM Baxi acquires 26% stake in Visakha container terminal

J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Ltd, a unit of Mumbai-based logistics company J M Baxi Group has acquired the 26% stake it does not already own in Visakha Container Terminal Pvt Ltd from D P World Ltd for an undisclosed amount, marking a rare exit from an Indian container terminal for the global port operator owned by the Dubai government. 

Visakha Container Terminal runs a 1.35 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU s) capacity terminal at the central government-owned Visakhapatnam Port Authority on the country’s eastern coast. In the year to March 2022, the terminal handled 5,12,000 TEUs from 4,81,000 TEUs in FY21.

“The acquisition of 26% stake from D P World gives J M Baxi complete control over a large hub terminal on the east coast. Along with our extensive terminal and rail networks on the east coast, we are now positioned to give shipping lines/ large importers and exporters a one-stop solution for their shipping needs from door to door. J M Baxi is now the most vertically integrated maritime logistics company on the east coast,” a spokesperson for J M Baxi said while confirming the deal.

VCT commenced the operations in June 2003 on a 30-year concession with a capacity to l load 0.6 million TEUs. The terminal operator in March of this year opened a new terminal, adjacent to its existing facility, with a capacity to handle 0.75 million TEUs, taking the total capacity of the terminal to 1.35 million TEUs. Post expansion, the terminal has a berth length of 845 meters. 

It is equipped with three super post-Panamax rail-mounted quay cranes for vessel side operations with an outreach to handle 22 containers across vessels and nine electrically operated rubber-tired gantry cranes (e-RTGCs) for yard operations.  

The new container terminal has 300 reefer plug points (for refrigerated cargo) in addition to 350 plug points at T1, taking the total reefer plug points to 650.

The additional quay (berth) length will create room for additional windows to berth ships at VCT where new services are poised to make their way and enable the possibility of berthing on arrival. 

With the 845-meter quay length, the possibility of docking vessels on arrival is quite high thus minimizing the waiting time to berth. Moreover, the additional equipment will be the key to the quicker evacuation of containers complemented with an efficiency of the cranes enabling faster turnaround time of vessels that would further give room for new services to call VCT. The additional yard capacity would allow more room to stack the containers.

The terminal Phase 1 has a quay length of 395 meters equipped with super post Panamax cranes with twin lift handling capacity. 

The Dubai-based D P World is one of the biggest foreign investors in India’s ports and related logistics sector. It runs container terminals at Mundra port in Gujarat, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority near Mumbai, Chennai Port Authority, and Cochin Port Authority. 

The Dubai-based group also runs multi-modal logistics firms Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Seva) Ltd (CWCNSL) and KRIBCHO Infrastructure Limited (KRIL), which were acquired in the last few years.

 In August 2020, Unifeeder, through its Unifeeder ISC (Indian Subcontinent) platform a majority-owned subsidiary of DP World Ltd, acquired Transworld Feeders FZCO, Avana Logistek Ltd, including its subsidiary Avana Global FZCO, and Transworld Feeders Pvt Ltd, the containerized Indian coastal and export-import (EXIM) feeder shipping operations of Shreyas Shipping and Logistics Ltd, excluding vessels and bulk operations. 

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