The new port of Dharma on the north-eastern coast of India in the state of Orissa has received its first freight handling cargo with the arrival of heavy lift ship Zhen Hua 11 from China.

The ship has delivered 5,000t per hour capacity ship loader and 2,800t per hour unloader as well as project cargo transported from Shanghai, which together will form the first tranche of dockside equipment for loading and discharging vessels.

The port of Dhamra will be the deepest port of India with a draught of 18m and a capability to accommodate super Capesize vessels up to 180,000dwt.

The plan allows the port to have 13 berths, capacity to handle 83 million metric tonnes of cargo annually including dry bulk, liquid bulk, break bulk and containerised cargo.

In addition, the plan also includes a new 62km rail freight link to join the main Howrah to Chennai line for carrying shipping containers and bulk goods.