Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Jul 01, 2004
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
Congestion at JN port hits exporters, importers
Mumbai , June 30
EXPORTERS and importers in this region have been severely affected by the congestion that has clogged the Jawaharlal Nehru port, including the P&O-operated Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT).
The congestion has turned worse over the last few days, with some vessels having to leave the port without being able to drop the import containers at the terminal.
The NSICT terminal is overflowing with uncleared containers, with the pendency soaring to 14,000 TEUs.
"There is absolutely no room for manoeuvring, as boxes have even spilled over to the road outside the gate," said a trade representative.
The problem has been compounded by the inability of Concor to supply adequate wagons to clear the containers.
There is talk in certain trade circles that Concor had further constricted wagon supply, as the NSICT operator had come out openly against its entry into terminal operations.
Concor has joined hands with Maersk to successfully bid for the Rs 1,000-crore third box terminal project at JN Port.
The worst hit appeared to be the synthetic and textile operators, who have not been able to move boxes during the last few days.
"Export cargoes at NSICT have been stranded for more than a week due to the congestion. The problem has been further aggravated by NSICT's inability to give any firm commitments, which is adding to the uncertainty," said Mr Rakesh Mehra, Chairman of the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council (SRTEP).
Exporters complain that they are not being able to plan their shipments, especially since many of them had to face repeated shutouts from the scheduled vessels.
"Exporters have the containers ready for shipment, but vessels are sailing without loading these containers. We fear that this could affect the credibility of Indian exporters as reliable suppliers in the international market and could even lead to cancellation of orders and lodging of claims by the buyers," said Mr Mehra.
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