Truck congestion at JNPT delays containers at APM Terminals

Truck congestion at JNPT delays containers at APM Terminals

APM Terminals Mumbai trucks stranded.

Trucks backed up outside APM Terminals Mumbai. Photo credit: APM Terminals Mumbai.

Truck congestion has flared up again at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), just a week after conditions had normalized at DP World Nhava Sheva, and this time, shippers using APM Terminals-operated Gateway Terminals India (GTI) are bearing the brunt of long freight delays and gate closures over the last two days.

“Frequent gate closure/slow movement has impacted GTI gate performance. This will have a cascading impact and we may face congestion issues over the coming days,” APM Terminals Mumbai stated in an advisory to JNPT officials.

GTI currently represents about 40 percent of the export-import containers passing through JNPT, so any disruption or slowdown there could have a crippling effect on supply chains in India’s busiest container gateway.

APM Terminals Mumbai also said as a result of the disruption, its gate moves on Tuesday fell to 3,783 TEU from a daily average of 4,800 TEU. Further, daily productivity statistics posted on APM Terminals’ website reflect a total in-and-out gate count of 3,775 TEU on Wednesday. 

The company, in its statement to JNPT, blamed the heavy truck buildup on the construction of a road flyover outside the port, a reason previously also cited by DP World Nhava Sheva, and said a swift intervention by the port administration is needed to address the traffic issue.

“The outside traffic movement is affecting the out-and-in gate operations of GTI. It also affects internal operations badly as circulation of trailers stops,” the advisory highlighted.

APM Terminals Mumbai: working to improve efficicency, decrease turn times

When contacted by Thursday, APM Terminals Mumbai did not provide any direct comment regarding the congestion issue, but stated that, “The company is working closely with customers and supply chain managers in regional distribution centers to make India supply chains more efficient.” It also said, “Truck turn times are 18 percent faster [since December 2017] through the terminal, due to the introduction of an online appointment system that features special gate lanes for trucks and ease of access to a designated container storage yard section for safe, quick access to cargo.”

The landside slowdowns resurfaced as the port authority and other stakeholders were working to lessen the impacts of previous inter-terminal rail transfer complications that severely hurt what would otherwise have been a solid start for new concessionaire PSA International’s Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals.

A joint venture between APM Terminals Group and state-owned Container Corporation of India, GTI has been at the forefront of automation and other ease-of-doing-business measures, particularly direct port delivery services, at JNPT. One example: it kicked off paperless gate-in permits for trucks in early 2015. As a result, GTI has enjoyed a clear edge over its peers in productivity rates. 

New statistics released by radio-frequency identification services provider DMICDC Logistics Data Services reaffirm that position, as GTI was able to reduce its overall, average dwell time to 41 hours in February, from 45.8 hours in the prior month.

Seeking to build on its supremacy at JNPT, as competition increases, APM Terminals Mumbai earlier this month started a vehicle booking service, in coordination with local third-party logistics providers, to streamline gate in of trucks for import pickups.

GTI includes a berth line of 2,336 feet, 128 acres of yard space, and modern service equipment, including 10 twin-lifting quay cranes, 40 rubber-tire gantry cranes, and three rail-mounted quay cranes, enabling it to handle about 2.3 million TEU annually.  

JNPT, as a whole, accounts for nearly half of India’s container trade, and it is on track to surpass last fiscal year’s all-time volume high of 4.5 million TEU in the current year, which ends March 31.