While the tourism industry has been prompt in using the newly built cruise liner terminal, pharmaceutical companies have been less than enthusiastic in exploiting the facilities set up for them at Vasco port, commented Mr Mara Pandiyan, chairman, Mormugao Port Trust.
Mr Pandiyan who was speaking at a recent seminar on logistics in Panaji, said that local manufacturers need to “take the initiative” and “come out of their comfort zone’ by starting to export from Goa instead of taking the old route of transporting consignments for JNPT, Mumbai.
He pointed out that sending cargo from an outside port not only involved more logistics headache for the exporters by way of transportation and ensuring safety of the goods, but it was also not “practical” because of the problem of congestion at JNPT which has more traffic than it can handle.
Reiterating that the MPT port officials are doing their best to smoothen EXIM channels, the chairman said that companies will only be “aware of the benefits of using the port after they start using it.” Further, he did not foresee problems in getting mother vessels, since foreign shipping companies are ready for it “any time.”
Urging the industry to take up what is “on offer,” Mr Pandiyan hoped that fast approaching 2013 would finally be the “year of pharma exports from Goa.”
The seminar was organised by Panvel based Flyjac Logistics Pvt Ltd, a group company of Hitachi Transport, Japan and the Goa Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers Association (GPMA).
It was meant to address industry doubts on smooth, two-way movement of cargo from MPT to outside countries, and touched on global practices adopted in transport along with other issues facing pharma logistics.
The inaugural speech was by Mr Salim Veljee, director, FDA, who said that the government as well as the GPMA has been relentlessly following up for getting the MPT recognised as a notified port for import and export of pharmaceutical products and now it was up to “local industry to reciprocate.”
Other prominent speakers at the seminar were Mr A S Madhavan, managing director, Flyjac, Mr Markus Keller, director, LPL Pharma, Switzerland, Mr Takayoshi Hanada, manager, HTS, Japan, Mr Sasi Kartha, general manager, Bengal Tiger Ltd. (a feeder vessel company,) Mr Suresh, director, Goa airport and Mr AV Ravikumar, joint managing director, Flyjac.
Meanwhile, Mr Arun Naik, past president, said that although not much headway has been made in pharma exports from Goa, it needed “just one major exporter to set off a trend.” Mormugao Port was notified as port for exports in December 2011. The notification of MPT for pharma imports came in July 17 this year. [NT]