Foreign Trade and the SSCP- Part -1

published on October 23, 2007


TIME AND DISTANCE CALCULATIONS-NAVIGATING AROUND SRI LANKA AND THROUGH SSCP – PASSAGES FROM MUSCAT AND ADEN TO  CHITTAGONG/ SINGAPORE


 


By CAPT (RETD) H.Balakrishnan, I.N.


 


 1.  The Detailed Project Report (DPR), of the SSCP, states all vessels up to 20,000 DWT, about 75 % of 30,000 DWT, 10% of 40,000 DWT vessels and 5% of 50,000 DWT vessels will be able to use the canal. Also, all empty vessels (in ballast) can pass through the canal.


 


2. The DPR, highlighting other USPs of the SSCP, anticipates that from the very first year of its operation, 60% of its revenue will accrue from vessels plying on foreign trade routes.


 


3. In an earlier series of analysis of the SSCP, published in the media, the nautical viability of the SSCP, from the Indian coastal trade standpoint had been analysed. This paper analyses the same issue from the foreign sea trade point of view. Two voyages have been chosen, where a ship has the option of either circumnavigating Sri Lanka or navigating through the SSCP.


 


 


DISTANCES (in nautical miles- nm)- AROUND SRI LANKA


 


(A) Muscat to Chittagong    = 2973 nm


 


(B) Aden to Singapore         = 3631 nm  


 


(NB: Distances taken from Admiralty Distance Tables)


 


   


4.  DISTANCES – MUSCAT – SSCP – CHITTAGONG


 


(A)  Muscat to SSCP                          = 1625 nm


 


(B)  SSCP length                                   = 84 nm


 


(C ) SSCP to Chittagong                       = 1050 nm


 


(D) Total Distance                                 = (A) + (B) + (C) = 2759 nm


 


5. DISTANCES – ADEN – SSCP – SINGAPORE


 


(A)  Aden to SSCP                            = 2020 nm


 


(B)  SSCP length                               = 84 nm


 


( C) SSCP to Singapore                     = 1590 nm


 


(D) Total Distance                           = (A) + (B) + (C) = 3694nm


 


6. SAILING TIME – MUSCAT TO CHITTAGONG AROUND SRI LANKA


 


(A) @ 12 knots                                  = 247.8h


 


(B) @ 15 knots                                  = 198.2h


                                                


7. SAILING TIME -MUSCAT TO CHITTAGONG VIA SSCP


 


8. Muscat to SSCP


   


(A) @ 12 knots                                  = 1625/12         = 135.4h


    


(B) @ 15 knots                                  = 1625/15         = 108.3h


 


9. SSCP


    


(A) @ 6 knots                                      = 84/6              = 14h


    


(B) @ 8 knots                                      = 84/8              = 10.5h


 


10. SSCP to Chittagong


 


(A) @ 12 knots                               = 1050/12          = 87.5h


   


(B) @ 15 knots                               = 1050/15           = 70h


 


11. Total time taken


   


(A) @ 12 knots and 6 knots            = 135.4+14+87.5      = 236.9h


   


(B) @ 12 knots and 8 knots            = 135.4+10.5+87.5    = 233.4h


   


(C )@ 15 knots and 6 knots            = 108.3+14+70         = 192.3h


   


(D) @ 15 knots and 8 knots            = 108.3+10.5+70      = 188.8h


 


12. SAILING TIME – ADEN TO SINGAPORE AROUND SRI    LANKA


  


(A) @ 12 knots                               = 302.6h


  


(B) @15 knots                                = 242.1h


 


 


13. SAILING TIME – ADEN TO SINGAPORE VIA SSCP


 


14. Aden to SSCP


   


(A) @ 12 knots                               = 2020/12                = 168.3h


   


(B) @ 15 knots                               = 2020/15                = 134.7h


 


15. SSCP


  


(A) @ 6 knots                                  = 14h


  


(B) @ 8 knots                                  = 10.5h


 


16. SSCP to Singapore


   


(A) @ 12 knots                               = 1590/12                 = 132.5h


   


(B) @ 15 knots                               = 1590/15                 = 106.0h


 


17. Total time taken


  


(A) @ 12 knots and 6 knots             = 168.3+14+132.5     = 314.8h


  


(B) @ 12 knots and 8 knots             = 168.3+10.5+132.5   = 311.3h


  


(C )@ 15 knots and 6 knots             = 134.7+14+106.0      = 254.7h


  


(D) @ 15 knots and 8 knots             = 134.7+10.5+106.0   = 251.2h


  


(N.B. The foregoing distances above have been derived from actual plotting on navigational charts.)


 


18. Additional Time For Passage Planning For purposes of embarkation/disembarkation of ‘Pilot’, manoeuvering of engines in the SSCP, as also for any delays in embarkation of ‘Pilot’- ADD = 2 hours (at the minimum) to  all the passage times indicated above.


 


DEDUCTIONS


 


19. From the foregoing calculations, the following deductions can be arrived at:


 


(A)      The difference in time taken to reach Chittagong from Muscat, circumnavigating Sri Lanka and navigating through the SSCP at speeds of 12 and 6 knots is = 8.9h


 


(B)      The difference in time taken to reach Chittagong from Muscat, circumnavigating Sri Lanka and navigating through the SSCP at speeds of 12 and 8 knots is = 12.4h


 


(C)     The difference in time taken to reach Chittagong from Muscat, circumnavigating Sri Lanka and navigating through the SSCP at speeds of 15 and 6 knots is = 3.9h


 


(D)     The difference in time taken to reach Chittagong from Muscat, circumnavigating Sri Lanka and navigating through the SSCP at speeds of 15 and 8 knots is = 7.4h


 


(E)      The difference in time taken to reach Singapore from Aden circumnavigating Sri Lanka and navigating through the SSCP at speeds of 12 and 6 knots is = “ – 14.2h” ( NOTE: THIS IS ON ACCOUNT OF THE FACT THAT THE VOYAGE DISTANCE INCREASES BY 63nm BY TRANSITING THROUGH THE SSCP!!


 


(F)       The difference in time taken to reach Singapore from Aden circumnavigating Sri Lanka and navigating through the SSCP at speeds of 15 and 8 knots is = “ – 11.1h”


 


(G)     Comment:  The deductions in voyage time between Aden and Singapore implies that SHIPPING TRAFFIC ORIGINATING FROM EUROPEAN/MEDITERRENEAN/RED SEA PORTS AND BOUND FOR THE FAR-EAST WILL BYPASS THE SSCP AND CIRCUMNAVIGATE SRI LANKA. THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR TRAFFIC ORIGINATING FROM PORTS IN THE HORN OF AFRICA/EAST AFRICA. A SIZEABLE SLICE OF GLOBAL SHIPPING TRAFFIC!!


 


(H)      While there is a nominal savings in distance navigating through the SSCP,this does not automatically translate into commensurate savings in time, on account of the ‘slow speeds’ required to navigate through the SSCP. This is on account of a phenomenon termed ‘SHALLOW WATER EFFECT’, or, ‘SQUAT EFFECT’, where the ship’s propellers tend to seek the sea bottom while proceeding at High Speeds in shallow waters. The SSCP is to have a dredged depth of 12 meters and can be used by ships having a draught of upto 10.7 meters. Thus the difference between the ship’s keel and the sea bottom will be 12.0-10.7=1.3 metres. This explains the necessity for ‘slow speeds’ through the SSCP.


 


(I)         It is mandatory for ships using the SSCP to embark a ‘pilot’. In the calculations above, at a conservative estimate, a time 2 hours has been added to passage time calculations. Under actual conditions, this time may be more than the 2 hours. All the major ports of India suffer from a shortage of ‘pilots’. Therefore, the SSCP is also likely to suffer from this prevailing malaise. It is therefore appreciated that vessels arriving at the ‘pilot boarding grounds’ at the SSCP may have to anchor and await ‘pilot boarding’. In this light, it would further tend reduce the difference in time between circumnavigating Sri Lanka and using the SSCP.


 


 


CONCLUSION


 


20.  The foregoing calculations, from first principles, clearly highlight the non-viability of the SSCP, for foreign trade vessels. 

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