Local agents of shipping lines serving India's Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva) protested the levy of additional charges on the traffic stranded because the port shut down and imposed restrictions following the collision of two ships in the main harbor channel Aug. 7.
In a communique to the port chairman, the Mumbai-Nhava Sheva Ship Agents' Association said users have been called on to pay berth hire and dwell-time fees accrued during the affected period, despite the group's earlier waiver requests.
"As our members have been receiving port bills including for the period when their vessels were stranded for no fault of theirs, it is essential that requested reliefs are extended to such affected traffic so as to help the trade. If necessary, the issue may be brought up before the board for a prompt resolution," the group said.
The association, which represents the entire ship-agents' community at the ports of Nhava Sheva and Mumbai, earlier lodged similar requests with the Mumbai Port authority as well as the two private terminals at Nehru operated by DP World and A.P. Moller-Maersk.
The collision of the container vessel MSC Chitra and breakbulk carrier Khalijia-3 forced the closure of both Nehru and Mumbai for nearly a week followed by restrictions to navigation until last week, triggering severe repercussions for the country's international trade when global demand was picking up.
An inquiry by India's Director General of Shipping found the MV Khalijia-3 was mainly responsible for the collision with the MSC Chitra off the Mumbai coast last month.
Nearly 65 percent of India's total exports and imports of containerized cargo moves through Nehru. It handled a record volume of 4.06 million 20-foot equivalent units in fiscal 2009-10 and 1.5 million TEUs in the April-July period.
According to the latest preliminary traffic data from port sources, Nehru's cargo throughput in August dropped to 4.2 million tons from about 5 million tons a year earlier, while total tonnage for the April-August period was estimated at 25.5 million tons compared with 24.9 million tons last year.