Logistics

JNPT, Mundra Port stares at congestion as container freight stations get clogged

P Manoj MUMBAI | Updated on April 02, 2020 Published on April 02, 2020

M

Importers not clearing containers from container freight stations

India’s top container handling facilities such as Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and Mundra Port will become congested in the next 3-4 days as import containers moved to the nearby container freight stations (CFS) are not being cleared by the importers and custom house agents amidst a 21-day lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus, a trade body has warned.

The Container Freight Stations Association of India (CFSAI), said that its member units in JNPT, Mundra, Pipavav and Hazira were consistently evacuating import laden boxes from all the terminals to the CFSs, an industry practice to decongest the ports.

In the last ten days, despite constraints and shortage of tractor-trailer drivers, CFS operators have collectively evacuated over 30,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from terminals at JNPT from March 22 to April 01. However, importers/CHAs have taken hardly any deliveries in the last ten days, it said.

“This is resulting in a pile-up of large number of import laden inventory in all the CFSs, and with only a fraction of imports being gated-out by the trade, the CFSs are facing an unprecedented challenge, and it is apprehended that in the next 3-4 days, most of the CFSs will reach their "holding capacity”, and evacuation from terminals will come to a halt. This inter alia would have a cascading effect on port inventory and lead to congestion in ports,” Umesh Grover, Secretary-General, CFSAI wrote in an April 2 trade advisory.

In a separate advisory, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) said that the import containers evacuated out of the terminals at Mundra Port are getting accumulated at nearby CFSs.

“We need to put additional efforts to continue the work at Mundra Port,” Avinash Rai, Chief Operating Officer, APSEZ wrote in the advisory.

Rai urged importers and agencies involved in import clearance/transportation to start taking delivery of import loaded containers. At the same time, essential labour may be deployed by CFSs to handle the export-related work (unloading of trucks/stuffing of containers).

The CFSAI said that ports/terminals and CFSs are functioning on being declared as essential services and hence excluded from the lockdown restrictions.

“But, other stakeholders and service providers in the export-import (EXIM) containerized trade are either not functioning or functioning marginally due to whatsoever reasons,” Grover wrote in the advisory.

Urging all stakeholders in the containerized EXIM trade in general and importers/CHAs and other persons involved in clearing containers to commence taking deliveries of import laden containers from the respective CFSs, the CFSAI said that documentation/delivery/payment counters at CFSs are open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The CFSAI has also assured all importers / CHAs and all other visitors coming to CFSs in connection with clearance and delivery of containers that its members were committed to combating and containing the spread of coronavirus.

“All our member CFSs have taken utmost care and initiated several safety and health-related precautionary measures keeping in mind the health of their staff and also the persons visiting CFSs for clearance of goods to contain the spread of the pandemic,” it said.

The CFSs, though, said that they “would not be responsible for any actions of the trade-in not clearing imported goods from their facilities”, it added.

.

Published on April 02, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.