The Port Trust decision came after a request in this regard was made by the Cochin Steamer Agents' Association (CSAA). The Board of Trustees had approved the proposal at a recent meeting.
The CSAA had urged the port management to extend 30 per cent concession tariff to feeder vessels till March 2013 in the wake of the problems being faced by the container shipping industry, given the recession in Europe.
According to statistics available with the association, there has been a considerable fall in the number of feeder vessels calling at Kochi Port during 2011-12.
During April 2010-11, 302 feeder vessels called at the port. This number has fallen to 289 during April 2011-February 2012.
The container shipping industry is going through a very difficult phase because of the European recession with many main lines deciding to terminate viable services, official sources in the Steamer Agents Association said.
By offering concessional vessel-related charges, the officials pointed out that the port would be able to retain the number of vessels on a par with 2010-11.
The association is happy to know that the port management has taken a decision in favour of steamer agents. Providing such a concession will surely attract more vessels to Kochi, the officials said, adding that it would attract more container vessels, especially those carrying raw cashew, as the season will start from next month.
According to officials, the steps taken by the port management after commissioning the Vallarpadam ICTT are a clear indication that the port management values its exim customer and is willing to extend all-out support by providing the infrastructure backing to meet the demands of customers.
The officials also called upon the port management to make efforts to bring about a relaxation of the Cabotage Law to enable speedy turnaround at the Vallarpadam terminal to boost the image of Kochi Port.