APL Adds Surcharge at Congested India Port

APL Adds Surcharge at Congested India Port

APL will apply an emergency congestion surcharge on imports containers at India’s Port of Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru), and other carriers are expected to follow as ships clog the country’s largest container gateway.

Starting Aug. 7, the Singapore-based container carrier’s planned surcharge will be $60 per 20-foot container, $120 per 40-foot container and $155 per 45-foot high cube container.

“Owing to berth congestion, move count restrictions and resultant additional operational costs, we are compelled to impose an emergency surcharge on all shipments from intra-Asia origins for discharge at Nhava Sheva,” APL India said.

Meanwhile, container ship operators under the aegis of the Container Shipping Lines’ Association of India called on the port authority and other stakeholders to take immediate remedial measures to restore normal operations at the Nhava Sheva terminals. Shipping lines serving the port include CMA-CGM, NYK Line, Mediterranean Shipping and Hapag Lloyd.

The association said port congestion forces ships “to sail out or divert at short notices, leaving behind time-bound cargoes, sailing with reduced loads or discharging containers at other nearby ports.”

Vessels sometimes speed up using extra fuel to arrive on time, only to find there is no berth available.

“All these result in service schedule disruptions and additional costs for the lines,” the association said.

The west coast hub handles nearly 65 percent of India’s total containerized export and import cargo. Volume through its three terminals hit an all-time high of 4.27 million TEUs in fiscal 2011, which ended March 31.