The Cochin Port Trust proposes to offer special facilities to handle cotton in a bid to attract a part of this exim cargo now being handled at the neighbouring Colombo port. The idea is to make Kochi the hub for cotton trade, said P Raveendran, who took over as the chairman of the port recently.
"We have approached the Southern India Mills Association, Coimbatore, offering dedicated facilities to import, store and re-export cotton at the ICTT at Vallarpadam," he said. Preliminary talks with shippers are encouraging. The Customs bonded area and SEZ status of Vallarpadam terminal offer advantage to the cotton trade, he said. Matters regarding customs procedures and other issues will be discussed later.
Right now, SIMA is bringing cotton in containers using the Colombo port as a hub. Kochi offers facilities that match international standards for import, warehousing and re-export of the commodity at comparable cost. If everything goes as per plan, the port expects to handle 30,000 TEUs of cotton in the current year, he said.