Adani Ports ratchets up efforts to grab JNPT cargo

Adani Ports ratchets up efforts to grab JNPT cargo

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone makes its case to Chinese business interests.

After crisscrossing the country to woo hinterland shippers, India’s biggest private port developer is reaching out directly to beneficial cargo owners in major global markets as it wraps up doubling container-handling capacity at its flagship Mundra Port.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) last week hosted a trade summit in Shanghai, China, to showcase its port infrastructure and potential cost benefits over rivals in India.

“The event was part of an ambitious program to build relationships with major exporters and importers based in countries with significant trade potential,” APSEZ said in a trade advisory.

APSEZ’s first global conference was attended by representatives from cargo interests, freight forwarders, and manufacturers in China.

The private developer owns and operates a group of marine facilities across India. Container throughput at APSEZ far outpaced growth at major public rivals in the first three quarters of fiscal year 2016 to 2017, rising 28 percent year-over-year compared with 4 percent at public ports.

With a new terminal at the port of Ennore, near Chennai, expected to open shortly, that growth should accelerate further in the coming months.

Mundra, however, remains critical for expanding APSEZ’s container-handling footprint, largely because of its proximity to northern hinterland markets and to traffic gains fueled by chronic bottlenecks at public rival Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), roughly 300 nautical miles away.

Mundra has made steady market share gains, particularly from northwestern India, in recent years, and Mundra’s proximity to the northwest compared to JNPT will cause this trend to continue, global port design and engineering company AECOM said in a master plan presented to the Ministry of Shipping.

The expansion of Mundra, in which CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co. are participating via strategic partnerships, will bring Mundra’s capacity to 6.6 million twenty-foot-equivalent units annually, making it the largest container port in the country.

JNPT currently holds that title, but its throughput has declined 0.4 percent year-over-year in the first 11 fiscal months of 2016 and 2017 despite productivity gains, according to port statistics compiled by JOC.com, a product of IHS Markit.