Ship Agents Oppose Nehru Port Tariff Hike Plan

Ship Agents Oppose Nehru Port Tariff Hike Plan

Ship agents at the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), India, are protesting a tariff revision proposal that could substantially push up costs for container vessels calling at the country’s largest box gateway.

In comments filed with port regulator Tariff Authority for Major Ports, the Mumbai-Nhava Sheva Ship Agents’ Association said Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s move to increase vessel-related charges by about 30 percent and container-related fees by approximately 70 percent at the port-owned terminal is totally “unjustified” and should not be allowed in the interest of trade.

The new proposal comes as the current rate scale, which was approved by TAMP in March 2011, is set to expire on March 31, 2013.

“We do not find any justification for an increase in vessel-related charges especially when the traffic to the port has increased considerably,” the association said. “Any increase in such charges would adversely impact the overall viability of vessel operations.”

The group, which represents the entire agents' community at the ports of Mumbai and Nhava Sheva, however, said a 10 percent hike in container-related charges could be allowed “in light of a surge in container arrivals at the port.”

The three container terminals at Nhava Sheva, including APM Terminals Mumbai and DP World’s Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal, handle more than half of India’s total container traffic. TAMP last year ordered a 44.28 percent rate reduction at APMT Mumbai and a 27.85 percent cut at NSCIT, but an Indian High Court of Appeals temporarily stayed the decisions following petitions filed by the private terminal operators.