The VOC Port Trust in Thoothukudi plans to set up a Multimodal Logistics Park (MLP) to facilitate infrastructure and enable seamless multimodal cargo transfer. It has tentatively identified Coimbatore, Madurai and Thoothukudi as three potential locations to establish the MLP in an area of about 100 acres, says a release from the VOC Port Trust.
The port trust is holding interactions with various stakeholders in the hinterland and industrial associations to develop the MLP. Based on the preliminary inputs, land parcels with road and rail connectivity will be identified and the proposal will be submitted to the Government for approval.
The current landscape of manufacturing hubs is located mainly in the secondary hinterland – Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Salem, Erode, Pollachi, Karur, Rajapalayam and Madurai, the release said.
The MLP will provide facilities such as cold storage; warehouses equipped with mechanised material handling and intermodal transfer terminals for containers, bulk and break-bulk cargo. It will also offer value-added services such as customs clearance, bonded storage yards, quarantine zones, testing facilities, warehousing management services, post-manufacturing activities such as kitting and final assembly, grading, sorting, labelling and packaging.
Setting up of the MLP will help in reducing the logistics cost of EXIM cargo; reduce pollution and congestion caused by cargo truck movement and reduction in warehousing costs driven by lower rentals in logistics parks situated outside the city limits.
The port’s advantages are good rail-road connectivity; proximity to the main sea route, all weather operational conditions, and geographic position to link the eastern coast with the western coast.
The port’s two container terminals, with the capacity to handle 1.17 million TEUs of containers, are well supported by 17 Container Freight Stations and one ICD. The terminals facilitate daily connectivity to Colombo and reach further to the Far East, through its weekly mainline services, the release said.