Source Logistics Cluster
Document type Other
Publication date 11/10/2005

Calcutta Dock System (CDS)

General description

The Calcutta Dock System (CDS) is situated on the left bank of the river Hooghly 150kms from the Pilot Boarding Point (Middleton Fairway Buoy)

It comprises:

  • Kidderpore Dock (KPD) 18 berths, 6 buoy Moorings, 3 Dry Docks
  • Netaji Subhas Dock (NSD) 10 berths, 2 Buoy Moorings, 2 Dry Docks;
  • Baj Baj River Moorings consisting of 6 Petroleum Wharves

CDS itself (Latitude 22 32 53 North, Longitude 88 18 05 East) is situated 232 km inside the river from Sandhead. Pilotage is required on a distance of 166km.

Access to CDS is limited by draught that varies from 5.5 to 8.0 meters. Maximum draught at berth is 10.0 meters. A dredging programme aiming at a minimum navigable draught of 7m has been initiated

Although there is a plan to deepen the access channel, it seems that Calcutta future lies as river-port hub for Northeast India rather than towards ocean-going traffic.

CDS is connected by road by the NH 34 to North Eastern States and Western India, and by the NH 2 to North India.

It is connected by rail immediately to Eastern Railway.

The Container Terminal is located at berths 7 & 8, Netaji Subhas Dock.

Netaji Subhas Dock has got a storage capacity of over 56.000 sq. m of covered space and over 13.000sq.m of open space.

In 1999-2000 CDS has handled a total of 10.3 million tonnes of cargo.

Discharge rates

Discharge rates are generally the same in Calcutta and Haldia:

  • bulk 250Mt/hook/shift
  • bagged 150Mt/hook/shift
  • containers 50/60 boxes/shift

The port is working three shifts, seven days a week:

  • Day shift 06.30 – 15.30 (recess 10.30 – 11.30)
  • Afternoon shift 15.30 – 22.30 (recess 19.00 – 19.30)
  • Night shift 22.30 – 06.30 (recess 02.00 – 02.30)

Vessel specifications

  • length 175.5m
  • beam 24.3m
  • depth at port depending on the tide
  • berth 10.0m maximum

Port cargo handling equipment

Ships have to use their own gears.

But for a 200Mt shore based crane at berth No 1, there are no shore cranes, mobile cranes, bagging equipment and no vacuvators. There is a silo but it is now defunct.

Fork lift trucks: a number of fork lift trucks ( 4 x 3Mt and 22 x 2Mt) are used for quay transfer, delivery operations and also for stuffing/destuffing of containers. The range includes low-mast fork lift trucks for going inside the container.

Mobile cranes: four x 6Mt, nine x 10Mt, three x 13Mt

Crawler cranes: two x 15Mt and six x 30Mt

Mobile and crawler cranes are used for quay transfer and wagon loading operations. Under special circumstances the equipment is also made available on hire within the dock premises.

Tractors: 20 x 20Mt capacity

Storage charges: 30 days free storage for relief cargo, containerized or break bulk, for Bhutan and Nepal.

Container handling equipment

The Container Terminal offers the following facilities:

  • a parking yard measuring 5 Hectares with 1284 ground slots for storage of containers on a 3.5 average high stacking system.
  • a reefer park with a provision for storage of 144 TEUs with power supply (220/240 volts) from 48 points
  • a CFS (Container Freight Station) with a stacking space of 3.400 sq.m for transit storage
  • three rubber tyred gantry cranes with 35.5t capacity
  • 32 x 2t capacity low mast fork lift trucks
  • 2 x 8t medium duty fork lift trucks for handling empty containers
  • 2 x 45t reach stackers

The CFS (Container Freight Station) used by Nepal is mostly for containers on FCL basis. Containers for Nepal and Bhutan must remain within the CY (Container Yard).

Containers have to be handled by ship’s gear. Transfer on the quay side is done by the crawler cranes described above.

Container handling rates are:

  • Container Parking Yard IRs 2700/20’ (US$ 56.25) IRs 4300/40’ (US$ 89.5)
  • Non Container Parking Yard IRs 3840/20’ (US$ 80.00) IRs 6300/40’ (US$ 131.25)

Port cost for bulk/bagged cargo vessels

Marine charges for vessels

A) Pilotage

  • Up to 5000 GRT - US$ 0.70 per GRT (Min. US$ 1400/-)
  • 5001 to 15000 GRT - US$ 0.65 per GRT (Min. US$ 3500/-)
  • Above 15000 GRT - US$ 0.60 per GRT (Min. US$ 9750/-)

B) Port dues

  • Up to 3000 GRT - US$ 0.18 per GRT
  • Above 3000 GRT - US$ 0.30 per GRT

C) Berth hire

  • Up to 3000 GRT - US$ 0.0233 per GRT (Min. 46.60 per 8 hrs)
  • 3001 to 10000 GRT - US$ 0.0200 per GRT (Min. 69.90 per 8 hrs)
  • Above 10000 GRT - US$ 0.0167 per GRT (Min. 200.00 per 8 hrs)

Port dues, Pilotage and Berth hire are increased with a 10% Special Charge and a 5% Service Tax.

Port cost for stevedoring fees


  • Free out : Cargo Receivers to pay
  • Liner out : IRs. 245.00 (US$ 5.1) per Mt from ship's hold to under tackle including grabs


  • Ship's hold to under tackle - IRs. 420.00 (US$ 8.8) per MT
  • Ship's hold to stacked - Same as above


  • the port is well guarded and so far no incident has been reported

Additional comments:

  •  vessel must be geared for cargo discharging, grab operations. Mobile cranes, forklifts, bagging, stitching equipment, etc. can be arranged from private sources if required.