Many shippers are avoiding moving cargo through the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), as some face delays of up to 10 days because of congestion recently exacerbated by crane installation.
The installation of new cranes at a terminal operated by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust has caused nearly 20 vessels to bypass their calls at the port, said R. Venkatesh, chairman of the Western India Shippers Association.
“Containers meant for interior destinations but originally transiting through JNPT have been diverted via Gujarat ports both for inbound and outbound,” Venkatesh said.
Both alternative facilities — Gateway Terminals International operated by APM Terminals, part of the AP Moller Maersk group, and DP World's Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT) — were already close to capacity when the crane installation began in late June. They haven’t been able to accept many additional ship calls.
“Most carriers call at multiple terminals depending on their services and this had a snowball effect on the other terminals,” said Jason Wong, APL vice president for intra-Asia and Australia. “We have diverted some cargo through the gateway of Pipavav.”
The three container terminals at Nhava Sheva handle around 40 percent of India’s total container traffic. Trade with the U.S. represents about 16 percent of India’s total container movements, according to Wisa.
Sanjay Tejwani, director of ocean freight for DHL Global Forwarding India, said the impact and subsequent disruption in business activity was expected to continue for the next few weeks and applies to cargo on all trade lanes. He said DHL has minimized the impact on customers by moving northern hinterland cargo through the ports of Mundra and Pipavav.
“I can’t see any possibility to resolve the problems in short-term," Venkatesh said. "There should have been clear plans with discussions with the trade and stakeholders even before the cranes arrived to ensure congestion was avoided."