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INDIA TIGHTENS RULES FOR OVERSEAS SHIPS TO PLY ON LOCAL ROUTES

State-runs firms have been vested with powers to scrap contracts awarded to fleet owners on the basis of Indian registered ships offered by them under a local rule if they convert their ships into foreign flag before the tenure ends. The so-called right of first refusal or RoFR allows fleet owners to take the benefit available to Indian registered ships for doing business along the Indian coast. In a public tender, an Indian flag ship or ships registered in India has the right of first refusal to match the lowest rate quoted by a foreign flagship and take the contract, according to rules set by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) to support the local shipping industry.

CYBER ATTACKS TARGETING SHIPS’ SATELLITE NAVIGATION

The risk of cyber attacks targeting ships’ satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop back-up systems with roots in World War Two radio technology. Ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and other similar devices that rely on sending and receiving satellite signals, which many experts say are vulnerable to jamming by hackers. About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea and the stakes are high in increasingly crowded shipping lanes.

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CARGO TRAFFIC AT 12 MAJOR PORTS UP 4 PERCENT IN APRIL-JULY

The country’s 12 major ports saw their cargo traffic go up by 4.13 per cent to 221.95 million tones (MT) in April-July period of the ongoing fiscal, riding on the back of a surge in demand. These top ports, under the administrative control of the Centre, had handled 213.15 MT cargo in the April-July period of the last fiscal. Iron ore traffic volumes moved up 32.28 per cent to 15.61 MT during April-July as against 11.80 MT in the same period a year ago, while those of POL rose 10.40 per cent to 75.18 MT.

GOVERNMENT LAUNCHES TRANS-SHIPMENT FACILITY FOR COTTON AT TUTICORIN PORT

In a major relief to spinning mills in the southern part of the country, the Union shipping ministry has allowed the mills to import Cotton from international markets through the Tuticorin port. The Tuticorin port has been provided with the transhipment facility to start with for storing around 250 containers of Cotton for a period up to 30 days at free of cost and another 60 days at a discount charge with freedom to sell the cotton either in India or any other country depending upon the demand. During the past two years, demand for imported Cotton has increased due to quality issues in the domestic production.

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LOGISTICS DATA BANK PROJECT TO ENLARGE TO SOUTH INDIA

The Logistics Data Bank (LDB) project, unveiled in July 2016 to make India’s logistics sector more efficient through the use of Information Technology, will soon expand operations to the country’s southern region. So far, it had covered only the western logistics corridor. The facility — where every container is attached to a Radio Frequency Identification Tag (RFID) tag and then tracked through RFID readers — aids importers and exporters in tracking their goods in transit.

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PORT OF OAKLAND SEES 5-YEAR OF RECORD VOLUME STARTING IN ’18

Port of Oakland maritime officials anticipate a five-year run of record cargo volume beginning next year. By 2022, the Port expects to handle the equivalent of 2.6 million 20-foot containers annually. It would be 8 percent more volume than the Port has ever processed in a single year. The figures appear in a Strategic Maritime Roadmap released by the Port this month. The blueprint for the future foresees increased cargo volume arriving at Oakland on larger ships. The Port’s Roadmap forecasts record volume of more than 2.4 million cargo containers in 2018. The current record is 2.39 million set three years ago.

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