27-01-2018

Share of container cargo to traffic handled by major ports highest in Dec

 With demand for containerisation on a continuous rise, the share of container cargo to the total traffic handled by major ports has been the highest in December. As per the Indian Port Association (IPA) data, container cargo contribution to the total traffic handled grew 19.5 per cent in December from 18.7 per cent in October, which was also much higher from 17.5 per cent in December 2016. Container traffic by tonnage grew 17.4 per cent year-on-year (YoY) at Indian ports in December 2017. For the April-December 2017 period, container traffic grew 7.6 per cent YoY. “In order to bring down multiple handling charges for a cargo, consumers are increasingly preferring containerisation of their goods and this has led to increased container volumes at ports in the last few months,” Praveen Somani, director (strategy and new business development), Inland World Logistics told Business Standard. “Containerisation of cargo is also ensuring the much-needed safety and security of the packaged commodity,” he added. Kolkata-based Inland World Logistics is a logistics and supply chain company into shipping, warehousing and express distribution. While Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Chennai, and VO Chidambaranar (Tuticorin) ports have been witnessing a gradual increase in their container cargo segment since October, Kandla entered the list in the past few months as a few shipping companies started container operations. “Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and Shreyas Shipping are calling Kandla's container terminal since the last few months for coastal shipping cargo,” informed MS Balani, traffic manager at Kandla Port. “Our aim is to gradually build container volumes as the terminal has low utilisation and hence we will not be charging SCI until March 2018,” he informed. Kandla port has privatised its container terminal to JM Baxi group, which has been aggressively marketing the facility to improve occupancy. Kandla's container terminal faces stiff competition from neighbouring Mundra Port located 60 km away from the port. “We are not focusing on earning from Kandla's container terminal at present as our fixed cost is high and we need to look at having the facility better utilised than anything else,” Balani explained the port's stance to not charge the state-owned SCI.

However, the port is charging Shreyas Shipping and other export/import cargo vessels with a sizeable rebate. Meanwhile, JNPT and Chennai Port continue to top container cargo contribution as the direct-port-delivery (DPD) scheme gains traction at these ports. “Not just DPD, but continuous improvement in JNPT's ecosystem is making this cargo growth possible. Every area of port performance such as import-export dwell time, de-congestion, clearances and gross berth productivity among other factors are showing marked improvement,” said Neeraj Bansal, deputy chairman of JNPT, the country's largest container port. As per the JNPT website, the share of DPD volume handled in December 2017 has gone up to 36 per cent from 27 per cent in February of the same year.

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Source: Business Standard

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