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East India Branch – August 2016 Seminar on INTERFACING Shipping & Services
Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2016
A day's seminar was organised by Institute of Chartered
Shipbrokers East India Branch in Kochi on 27th August
2016. The seminar was attended by about 200 participants, including
students from the Institute and focused this year on Logistics and
Shri C J Mathew IRS (Member Technical) CE&ST Appellate
Tribunal Southern Region Chief guest in his keynote address traced
India's maritime history from Vedic times, highlighting that
shipping is what indeed has enabled globalization.
He added that the boom and bust cycle is typical in shipping due
to changing trade patterns, technology advancements, economic
growth in different parts of the world etc, the pre-and post
Beijing Olympics period was pointed at, to substantiate the
In the welcome address, Capt K.P.Rajagopal, Chairman East India
Branch, invited the students to take up the Institute qualifying
examinations and assured them that the local branch provides help
for every student to prepare and take the exam successfully.
Capt John P Menezes chairing Interfacing Ports & Ships
session, delved into Harbours and Ports with Security as a recent
concern. Specialisation of ports, their safety, hazards,
employment potential etc were added on.
Capt Suresh Amirapu drew attention to the narrow share of India
in international trades, consoling that there has been visible
growth after liberalization. However, congestion has been the order
of the day he added, citing 11km waiting length of trucks at
India's premier container port JNPT off New Mumbai. Good intentions
he complained seldom resulted in desired results due to tardy
implementation. The Tariff authority setting rates for Major ports
and Terminals therein he said had given undue competitive advantage
to non-major ports and new terminals. While India's Vessel related
charges are very high - in US dollars too, he complained that
Terminal handling charges for boxes are paltry and low as compared
to nearby Asian and South-East Asian terminals.
Capt K P Rajagopal supported with macro and micro statistics in
details drew attention to the share of major Indian ports
increasing after losing to the non-major ports for a while. He
added that the trade projections in the port reports have been more
or less imaginary and in any case the 5-year plans are going to be
discontinued after the current one. He touched upon the social
philosophy of port and trade development emphasizing major
initiatives being taken by the government pointing out the revenue
share that is earned by ports. With External Currency Borrowings in
US$ at low interest rates and ports obtaining deemed export status,
more projects will be viable in his view. Under Sagarmala ports,
shipping, waterways, etc. will get a boost he added.
Mr S. Sankaran drew attention to the plight of shipping due to
the liner freight meltdown, supporting his well-found arguments
with the crash of Shanghai Container Freight Index.
Shri R Swaminathan chaired the session on Commercial Shipping in
which Practitioners' Challenges were highlighted and discussed in
length by Shri H L Santharam.
Bulk Shipping & World Trade was addressed in depth by Mr
Krishan Prasad. He said the markets are ever-changing and no new
fixtures are alike even with the same cargo, owners, operators and
charterers. Mr Krishnan Subramaniam talked about Liquid Bulk Trade
providing insights into its specialties, vagaries and nuances.
The potential slumber after sumptuous lunch was pre-empted by a
riveting session on Avoiding Litigation chaired by Capt S Pullat
who nudged two High Court Lawyers and a Claims Consultant to higher
plateau from the stance and positions they were taking covering the
Advocate Syam Kumar reported a case where the court had ruled
against an Arbitration clause in a B/L. A heated discussion session
followed, surmising that it was untenable and bad in law.
Shri Joy Thattil spoke about Litigation and Arbitration
reminding about the need to have good systems in place, creating
awareness amongst executives and following up unavoidable
litigation and Arbitration properly.
Mr Jagannathan, though not a qualified lawyer, highlighted the
need to follow proper procedures of the jurisdiction opted for and
spoke about the nuances of Arbitration vis-à-vis Mediation.
Capt Pullat cautioned that litigation is an ever present risk in
any domain, and frauds and criminality cannot be mediated upon. The
old case law of Adler Vs Dixon of Himalayan fame was recalled; so
too Contract Act, Charter Parties etc by the two lawyers with the
Consultant stressing that Arbitration under the New York Convention
is enforceable in many countries. He hoped that the recent
amendments to Indian Arb Act would impart it more traction, speed
In the session on Shipping support to Oil & Gas chaired by
capt K G Ramakrishnan, Capt Neel Nair took the participants through
a conducted tour -through a well laid out presentation- on Oil
& Gas industry including Shale oil right from their formation,
exploration, prospecting, drilling, production to capping the
wells, pointing out the employment and entrepreneurial
opportunities available at very good remuneration and compensation
for hard work.
Capt Alex Anthony stressed that Kochi has become a major
bunkering port and there are opportunities for traders,
entrepreneurs and even arbitraging between Singapore and Gulf. He
however cautioned on the pitfalls citing OW bunker case that had
gone up to House of Lords.
Mr Vikas Singh Chief Manager Port Operations of Petronet LNG Ltd
provided technical insights into the LNG trade explaining the
Spherical tanks, Membrane protection, Floating Storage Regassifying
Unit (FSRU) etc stating that CH4 Methane is what LNG is
and its cryogenic trade reduces volume down to six-hundredth by
liquefying to -1600C for easy carriage. Explaining some
of its limitations, he said that its operational track record is
excellent and LNG is currently evolving as a practical clean and
cheap fuel for ships with its availability being established in
major trade routes.
After the actual seminar, Shri Krishna Prasad and Krishnan
undertook a session on Career Counselling for the students
attending, underlining that "attitude quotient" is a perquisite and
loving the job and taking risks are necessary to survive. They
stressed the importance of continuously keeping up-to-date with the
professional knowledge, considering new career avenues, employment
and business possibilities.
The seminar content was summed up ably by Capt Avtar Singh
peppering with interesting anecdotes and humor. The participant
students stayed till the very end making notes and asking
questions, and finally capping it all with National Anthem.
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