Chennai: Gateway port with only Zero gate

T. E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Boxes piled up at the Chennai Container Terminal.

The entire trade using the private container terminals at Chennai port will spend an additional Rs 1.5 crore every day due to the ‘Chennai Trade Recovery' imposed by the Chennai Feeder Operators (CFO) from Monday. This may be a small amount but if the charge continues for a month the amount could be around Rs 50 crore, according to an industry source.

Starting August 15 (Monday), the operators have imposed a charge of $75/TEU (20-foot equivalent unit). The charge is due to a small local problem – lack of gates for entry and exit of container laden vehicles that in turn led to delays in ship turnaround.

Every month, nearly 1.50 lakh container-laden vehicles (both import and export) transit through the port's only available gate (Zero Gate) at Royapuram, north of the port.

While the trade has been asking the Chennai Port Trust officials to open up Gate 2 and Gate 2A for movement of boxes, this has not been done due to resistance from local people.

With only one gate available, at times, there is a serpentine queue of vehicles lined up 3-4 km creating lot of law and order problem. The congestion has in turn delayed evacuation of boxes from the port and movement of export boxes to the port, said an industry source.

The CFOs on their part justifying the charge said that the situation at the two private container terminals run by DP World Chennai and PSA are in a ‘precarious situation' and causing considerable delay in turnaround of ships.

A recent trade notice by some of the CFOs said they are monitoring the ‘precarious situation' at Chennai, which is already resulted in backlog of shipments, a fall down in productivity levels and delayed vessels schedules.

Despite various local approaches to seek solutions, the trailer congestion continues both inside the port (imports trying to evacuate) and outside the port entrance (export movements waiting to enter).

With ‘mounting cost exposure, and continuing poor road connectivity condition to the container freight stations locations, which will only be worsened by the imminent monsoon season, the future remains very uncertain, the notice says.

Published on August 16, 2011

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