Congestion choking India port

Congestion choking India port

Both container terminals at the western Indian Port of Jawaharlal Nehru are again facing severe congestion as Container Corp. of India wrestles with a shortage of rail cars.

Representatives of the Indian Merchants Chamber said more than 11,000 containers are piled up at the port, much of it scrap metal imports.

The congestion has been building for a month as state-owned Concor has been unable to provide enough cars for container movement. According to trade executives, Nehru, India's biggest container port, loads 16 trains every day but Concor has been supplying only nine or 10.

Concor is the only company allowed by the government to move containers by rail.

The yard congestion is hitting shippers hard. Both exporters and importers face demurrage charges if containers remain in the yard more than 15 days.

Outbound textile cargo also has been held up. Rakesh Mehra, chairman of the Synthetic and Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council, said export cargo at P&O Ports'-operated Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal had been delayed for more than a week. Exporters complained that they are unable to plan their shipments, and many have faced shutouts from schedules vessels.

The situation is worrying trade and industry as Nehru port is to develop a third container terminal as a joint venture between Concor and APM Terminals.