Multinational technology giant Microsoft has collaborated with Mumbai-based logistics firm Kale Logistics to aid in the digital transformation of the VO Chidambaranar port in Thoothukudi, Microsoft said in a statement.
The port is the fourth-largest container terminal in India and its digitalisation drive will be powered by Azure, Microsoft’s cloud platform, to help reduce documentation and cut carbon emissions by 75%, according to Microsoft. This would also make the port one of the first in India to undergo automation and digital transformation, it added.
Kale Logistics also announced the launch of its container digital exchange platform Codex, which, as per the company, is the first one in India. Codex will utilise Azure to help with the tracking and exchange of all the containers passing through VO Chidambaranar port.
The port handles over 34 million tonnes of cargo each year, with 1,350 vessels berthing there annually. Of those, about 550 are container vessels that offload and onload about 1,500 containers.
The Chidambaranar Port Trust and the Tuticorin Container Freight Station Association worked together with Kale Logistics to develop Codex. Built as an electronic data interchange platform (EDI), Codex aims to help expedite the movement of Export-Import (EXIM) containers in and out of the port. The solution will also e-connect the stakeholders to help in transparency and make operational coordination easier.
The companies said that with the implementation of Codex, trucks transporting the containers do not have to carry multiple documents to enter the port. This, in turn, has reduced waiting time and helped cut down fuel from 15 litres to 8. Earlier, each truck driver had to show 40 documents, close to 100 annexure copies and provide 120 signatures with 10 different stakeholders before entering the port.
“Codex is already linking (the) Tuticorin port operations with VOC Port Trust system. In addition, other stakeholders including shipper, shipping lines and agents amongst others have complete access to container movement and details via both online portal and the mobile app,” David Raja, president of the Tuticorin Container Freight Station Association, said.
The Microsoft release also said that Kale Logistics has integrated the GST refund system into Codex, which has increased accuracy to 95%. The finance ministry and the commerce ministry were considering implementing Codex for other use cases in the country, the company said.