India’s Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), rattled by a series of labor disputes in recent months, is bracing for more disruptions as the port authority on Oct. 25 announced a nearly one-month partial shutdown of the state-owned terminal in December for harbor crane replacement.
“The crane installation program is for about 25 days, starting Dec. 10 and lasting until Jan. 6, 2013,” port officials told user representatives.
Officials said the commissioning of two new rail-mounted cranes is expected to hamper normal operations and disrupt fixed-day berthing schedules of vessels calling at the terminal.
The country’s largest container port said it is making ad-hoc arrangements with DP World-operated Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal for the handling of vessels that are likely to be affected.
“While we are making all possible efforts to handle maximum number of vessels within the constraints, we will not be in a position to handle many ship calls including two vessels operated in the Indamex Service, scheduled to arrive on Dec. 23 and Jan. 6,” officials said.
The weekly Indamex, linking the Indian subcontinent, the Mediterranean and the U.S. East Coast, is a vessel-sharing agreement between CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, APL, OOCL and NYK Line.
Infrastructure woes, particulary equipment shortage and frequent crane breakdowns, have been major concerns for ocean carriers offering regular calls at the Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal.
The port-run JNCT is one of three container-handling facilities in Nhava Sheva port, which accounts for more than half of India’s total containerized traffic.