A sudden strike by container truck drivers Tuesday morning threatened serious delays to cargo moving through Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal in India’s Port of Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s largest maritime container gateway.
The Nhava Sheva Container Operators’ Welfare Association is protesting persistent delays at the terminal operated by DP World.
“The terminal is just not capable of handling the current surge in volume, and to avoid penalties from both shipping lines and the landlord port, it is slowing local container freight station movements and concentrating on minimizing vessels’ stay at the terminal,” the association said.
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The association said the Dubai-based company offered “volume-based discount schemes” to major ocean carriers in a bid to lure business away from the other two terminals in the port, creating a tight capacity situation with more ship calls.
“Shipping lines calling Nhava Sheva were promised greater productivity for higher volume with suitable penalty clauses if such assured throughputs were not forthcoming,” it said.
A shipping line agent at Nhava Sheva said no settlement was reached late Tuesday, and terminal management agreed to hold another round of talks with striking drivers Wednesday morning.
NSICT, Nehru’s second-largest container facility, handled 1.53 million 20-foot equivalent units in fiscal 2009-10 ended March 31 compared with 1.43 million TEUs the previous year. Consolidated throughput at Nehru increased to 4.06 million TEUs from 3.95 million TEUs, while volume in the April-August period totaled 1.7 million TEUs.