Severe terminal congestion at India’s Port of Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru) spurred major ocean carriers to skip calls at the port and reroute ships to Mundra, a privately-owned cargo hub farther up the west coast.
Hapag-Lloyd, one of the largest liner operators to and from India, said it is facing “serious operational problems” at Nhava Sheva terminals, which are causing berthing delays and service schedule disruptions.
Nehru, India’s largest container port, has been plagued by persistent congestion and rail delays in recent months amid surging cargo volume and inadequate infrastructure. The situation is aggravated by the ongoing equipment modernization process, covering installation of three new rail-mounted quay cranes to replace obsolete units, which is expected to last until mid-August.
“Due to replacement of rail-mounted cranes at Jawaharlal Nehru Port, the terminal is currently experiencing berthing delays of up to 10 days, impacting the sailing schedule of our Indamex Service linking India with the Mediterranean and North America,” Hapag-Lloyd said.
The German carrier said the last Indamex vessel Dubai Express, which was scheduled to arrive at Nhava Sheva July 17, skipped the Nehru call and instead called Mundra.
“All Mumbai and northern-bound import cargo discharged at Mundra will be railed at cargo owners’ expense,” Hapag-Lloyd said.
The fixed-day weekly Indamex is a vessel-sharing agreement between Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM, APL, NYK Line and Orient Overseas Container Line, deploying seven vessels of around 4,250 20-foot equivalent units capacity.
Port clogging problems culminated with emergency congestion surcharges announced by several carriers on inbound cargo handled at the port. APL will levy a $60 per-TEU surcharge, starting Aug. 7, while others such as OOCL, Wan Hai Lines, Pacific International Lines, “K” Line and Regional Container Lines are likely to issue similar surcharge notices in the coming days.
Nehru set a record in fiscal 2010-11 by handling 4.27 million TEUs, its highest-ever annual throughput.