A go-slow campaign by container truck drivers has affected normal operations at the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal in India’s Port of Cochin, according to local shipping sources.
A shipping line agent at Cochin said drivers are demanding an increase in their annual festival bonus entitlement to be disbursed in the current month, coinciding with the Hindu festival season called “Diwali.”
Sources said negotiations between terminal operator DP World and drivers’ union representatives have so far failed to resolve the impasse.
The labor protest comes as the Cochin Port authority announced concessions on vessel-related charges for mainline vessel calls in a bid to boost throughput at the Vallarpadam terminal, the country’s first transshipment facility. Box volume via VICTT from April through October fell 9 percent to 196,000 20-foot-equivalent units from 215,000 TEUs a year earlier.
The terminal, on a 38-year operating concession, began commercial operations in February last year. The $600 million facility is the first stage in DP World’s three-phase development at Vallarpadam, with an annual capacity of 1 million TEUs in the initial phase.