JNPT terminals working well with customs import reform

JNPT terminals working well with customs import reform

DP World Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal.

Above: DP World Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal. Photo credit: DP World Subcontinent.

In a response to a container freight association’s concern that it has received no incremental direct port delivery (DPD) volume gains from DP World facilities, DP World Subcontinent told JOC.com that its terminals at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) — India's busiest container port — remain fully consistent with customs’ guidelines regarding DPD operations.

The Dubai-headquartered company operates two facilities — Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT) and Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal (NSIGT) —in India’s busiest public container harbor.

“Both our terminals, NSICT and NS(I)GT, are compliant to the processes set by the Jawaharlal Nehru Customs House to facilitate ease-of-doing-business,” the company told JOC.com. “At DP World, it is our constant endeavor to eliminate inefficiencies in our customers logistics supply chain.”

Last week, the Container Freight Station Association of India (CFSAI) expressed concern that its members have had no incremental DPD volume gains from DP World Nhava Sheva, after customs authorities adopted an “inclusive” policy for DPD freight handling.

The issue is centered on storage of DPD containers that remain at the wharf beyond the declared 48-hour clearance deadline, which, in line with a previous customs diktat, were to be shifted to a single, port-designated container freight station (CFS), known as Speedy Multimodes Ltd. Ironically, Speedy Multimodes is a JNPT-owned venture, but is managed by a private firm under an “operation and management” contract arrangement.

“Our customers in the supply chain have hugely benefitted from DPD, as it has provided faster and cost-effective delivery of containers directly to customers,” DP World Subcontinent stated, responding to a JOC.com email query.

JNPT: 30 container freight station sites

The JNPT harbor houses about 30 CFS sites, and for these third-party logistics providers (3PLs) that largely thrive on freight storage and customs clearance-related functions, the DPD program has proved to be a major “growth disruptor,” as consignees are now able to bypass so-called intermediaries in the supply chain ecosystem.

The customs rule change, announced in April, was intended to lessen that growth pressure, but much of that “uncleared” DPD volume reportedly continues to be serviced by Speedy Multimodes, as industry sources say terminal operators have yet to put in place necessary operating system realignments to facilitate such diversions.

However, APM Terminals’ Gateway Terminals India has been redirecting those DPD containers to other CFS sites, to a limited extent — estimated at approximately 4,000 TEU per month, according to CFSAI.

Although the eventual impact of reworked/modified customs' regulations is still to be evaluated/determined, one thing is certain: 3PLs operating on a single-port market basis face a challenging market environment unless they reinvent themselves to meet evolving supply chain demands.

Statistics collected by JOC.com show DP World Nhava Sheva transacted 15,389 TEU of laden import containers via DPD during July, out of 38,318 TEU laden discharges for the month.

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