PSA International’s new Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT) ended September on a strong note, setting the stage for increased competition among terminals at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) — India’s busiest public container harbor.
BMCT, which commenced full-fledged operations in February, increased volume substantially — powered by more ship calls — and notched a new, impressive quayside productivity rate, on the strength of crane upgrades.
With 18 calls, compared with 14 during August, BMCT’s September volume hit 50,434 TEU, a jump of 58 percent from 31,974 TEU in the prior month.
Further, BMCT handled 2,462 container moves in about 16 hours when it serviced the MV Xin Hong Kong on Sept. 30, with berth productivity reaching 155 moves per hour. More importantly, those lifts included 47 units of oversize, out-of-gauge cargo, whose complex operations the company claims reinforce BMCT’s capabilities to meet customers’ evolving needs.
MV Xin Hong Kong service
The Xin Hong Kong has been deployed in the Europe-Pakistan-India Consortium 2 (EPIC2) — a vessel-sharing agreement among CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, and Cosco Container Lines. Besides this loop, BMCT currently hosts two weekly services — the Swahili Express (SWAX) operated jointly by CMA CGM and Emirates Shipping Line in the India-Africa trade and the India-Middle East-East Mediterranean (IMED) loop between CMA CGM and Cosco.
“Throughput at BMCT has progressively increased since the start in February 2018,” the Singapore-based operator stated.
As trade demand steadily increases, the company is proceeding on schedule with equipment deployment, with plans under way to add nine rubber-tire gantry (RTGs) cranes in November and three quay cranes in January next year. “This [program] will bring the total number of RTGs and quay cranes at BMCT to 36 and 12, respectively, raising BMCT’s annual capacity to 2.4 million TEU,” the company stated.
PSA has high hopes for BMCT regarding its goal to establish a stronger footprint in the emerging market economy, as the northwestern corridor — to which JNPT essentially caters — is the main contributor to Indian container trade.
BMCT has a two-phase development — each with a berth length of 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) and an annual capacity of 2.4 million TEU. The next stage is targeted for completion by 2022.
JNPT — which includes two DP World facilities and APM Terminals’ Gateway Terminals India — represents the majority of India’s container trade and, hence, BMCT will play a pivotal role in the efficient handling of expected port growth in the years ahead.