Vizhinjam Mother Port- Birthright of every keralite !




Whosoever commands the sea, commands trade.

Whosoever commands the trade of the world,

Commands the riches of the world,

And consequently the world itself. 

                                (Sir Walter Raleigh-1610)


                    Vizhinjam International Container Transshipment Hub makes us think and plan for the future. A great opportunity to catch up with the world economy and development. Perhaps a rejuvenated India will emerge with this mega project. Before reaching a conclusion, we need a bird’s eye view on the entire scenario.



The finance transacted all over the world was $400 trillion in 2000. The world wide FDI was $648 billion in 2004. Among this 36% was gone to developing countries, of this major chunk was absorbed by China in 2005 i.e. $60 billion. India could attract comparatively a lower share of $6.5 billion



Total world imports was $ 10.75 trillion in 2005.  Sea borne trade was worth $6 trillion in 2002. Developed countries still dominate world trade as they account for 2/3 of the world exports. India set a trade goal of $500 billion by 2010.


Relevance of a world-class seaport

Depending on the efficiency level, a seaport can either be a facilitator or a hurdle to trade. Efficient ports have augmented the economic growth of countries like Singapore, Netherlands, Dubai, China etc. Thanks to the robust manufacturing and trade, China’s GDP has achieved a growth of 9.9% or reached a level of $2.16 trillion (2005) whereas the current Indian picture is an estimated growth of 8.1% and total GDP is Rs. 25,86,587 crore ($0.57 trillion).


“Infrastructure capacity building has to normally precede economic growth by a factor of 1.8 so if you expect economy to grow at 10%, your infrastructure capacity has to be created at 18% i.e. 1:1.8 is the thumb rule. And that is per annum. If you are expecting India’s GDP to grow at 8%, then you should be creating in advance, capacities at Indian roads, ports, etc to a level of 15%”


Here we are pursuing to create a world-class seaport called Vizhinjam, spending almost $1 billion on BOT basis.


China Factor

Government of Kerala (India) has awarded the Vizhinjam International Transshipment hub project, situated very close to Trivandrum city to a consortium led by M/s. Zoom Developers P. Ltd, Mumbai with M/s. Kaidi Electric Power Corporation Ltd., Harbor Engineering Company Ltd., China. The first phase of the project involving Rs. 1850 crores, has to be completed within three years.


Advantage – Transshipment hub

Vizhinjam placed 8.23 N and 77.33 E, most conducive for sea trade, having 24-30 meters draught within 10NM from Europe –South Asia main thread line. Economies of scale gives advantage to China can be equated with Vizhinjam’s logistic merit. It’s estimated that around $0.35 million would be the cost for plying a ship between Shanghai and Vizhinjam, which means a production centre in South India can compete with its Chinese counterparts with this logistic advantage. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu government’s pro industrial policies and fast progressing infrastructure facilities prompted many entrepreneurs to go further south. Many MNCs like Hyundai, BMW, Nokia, Cisco, and Intel have chosen south as their destination. An employment created in the manufacturing sector will create three opportunities in the service sector.  Dell Computers insist for an India location proximity to airport and seaport!


Michael Dell, chairman of Dell Computers knows the advantage of the world-class seaport where MSC Pamela, the largest containership ever built, can anchor! No other Indian ports offer this facility due to their draught limitations. Why didn’t Queen Mary II, 345 meter long cruise vessel call on any Indian port ever?  She would continue to skip Indian territorial waters until Vishinjam opens its harbor mouth! This is the reason why Kerala could attract only 0.3 million international tourists when 808 million tourists traveled all over the world.


Vizhinjam would be another Pudong within 10 years time. Pudong, once a fishing hamlet in China, where now around 3.5 million work force engaged! Vizhinjam can handle a major chunk of 18 million containers crisscross each year and can earn a slice from the $82 billion (2005) logistic revenue generated throughout the world. Suez Canal carried 18000 ships during 2005, which passes nearby Vizhinjam; among this around 1800 were container carriers. Daily five ships!!


You too can harvest the South Indian advantages like low cost built up space, brilliant man power, BPO back office, golden quadrilateral road network, air connectivity, and proximity to a world class container PORT!






 Elias John                                                                                  












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