Indian port growth overcomes monsoons, Maersk hack

Indian port growth overcomes monsoons, Maersk hack

Truck lines into Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust remain a concern for shippers.

India’s major, or public, ports in July continued the steady growth trend that began with the fiscal year as traffic rose 5 percent year-over-year to 752,000 TEU.

Those gains are being led by India’s top container gateway, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), where growth is accelerating and lifting national throughput.

JNPT handled 401,923 TEU during the month, up 5.4 percent from 381,561 in July 2016, despite disruption from monsoon weather and the Maersk Group cyberattack, as the port grew month to month following a decrease in volume from May to June. Those gains are more impressive since APM Terminals Mumbai handles 40 percent of JNPT’s cargo, and was crippled at the start of July because of the cyberattack.

The cyberattack and monsoon weather led to a 2.5 percent fall in July throughput at the largest terminal in the public harbor, while its rivals, with the exception of DP World’s Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal, increased volumes year-over-year.

Officials at APMT Mumbai earlier this week told that terminal operations were back to normal, but trade updates from transportation companies say that congestion and long truck lines remain an issue.

Elsewhere in India, throughput at the Chennai port in July increased almost 6 percent year-over-year to 133,000 TEU, reflecting that productivity efforts to recapture cargo lost to nearby private rivals are progressing. However, the opening of an Adani Group-built terminal at the Ennore port, just 15 miles away, could pose a challenge to Chennai’s turnaround efforts.

July volumes at other major container ports were as follows: Kolkata, flat at 65,000 TEU; Tuticorin, or V.O. Chidambaranar, up 5 percent from 55,000 TEU to 58,000 TEU; Cochin, or DP World-operated Vallarpadam Terminal, up 8 percent from 38,000 TEU to 41,000 TEU; and Visakhapatnam, down 6 percent from 34,000 TEU to 32,000 TEU, according to the collected data.   

DP World Cochin CEO Jibu Kurien Itty told that strong growth at the terminal is a combined result of industry-best efficiency levels and expanded hinterland reach. Its competitive edges include average gross crane productivity of more than 30 moves per hour and a 26-minute turnaround time for truckers, according to the official.  

“We aim to facilitate trade by redefining the supply chain through faster transit time and by providing distinguished service to our customers,” Itty said.

On a year-to-date basis, throughput at major ports reached 3 million TEU, 6.2 percent higher than volumes handled in the April-to-July period of 2016, with JNPT contributing 1.61 million TEU, up 5.6 percent from 1.52 million TEU, and Chennai racking up 527,000 TEU, up 4.5 percent from 504,000 TEU, data show.