Preloading coupled with vertical drains is a successful ground improvement technique for soft clay deposits. Though surcharge in the form of sand pile is conventionally used, vacuum consolidation is also an option. This paper presents a case study on ground improvement using vacuum consolidation technique carried out near the shoreline in the city of Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. Detailed methodology, method of installation of PVD, settlements observed during the consolidation process and results from light cone penetration test performed to quantify the ground improvement and the insights gained from the study are described. © 2014, Indian Geotechnical Society.