Story in Pictures

Point of transit

The transshipment terminal at Vallarpadam in Kerala is India’s largest single-operator container terminal

RA Chandroo

It’s the largest single-operator container terminal in India and the first in a special economic zone. The International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadam Island off Kochi aims to reduce India’s dependence on foreign ports — more than half of all container traffic from India is transshipped from places such as Singapore and Colombo because the country had no port near international sea routes to handle large mainline vessels. The Vallarpadam terminal could change this — the terminal has a capacity of 1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per annum and operates out of a special economic zone that has a rail link and also connects Vallarpadam to two national highways. Last year, the government also approved a three-year cabotage law waiver to permit foreign ships to move containers to and from the terminal, which means the ICTT can now compete with other hub ports in the region. The terminal is the first phase of a ₹6,250-crore, three-part project by the Dubai-based DP World, which has a 38-year concession to operate the terminal, after which control will pass to the Cochin Port Trust.