Container terminals in India’s busiest public gateway, Nhava Sheva Port (JNPT) is seeing congestion and are ‘operating far beyond our capacity levels’ due to drastic capacity reduction at APM Terminals Mumbai, which accounts for the majority of export/import shipments moving through the gateway.
APMT Mumbai, which is also known as Gateway Terminals India (GTI) has reduced the number of weekly services handled from the usual 13 calls to six, due to the closure of a berth for crane upgrades, a source aware of the matter shared.
“Spill-over berthing demand has complicated flows through other terminals,” a shipping line agent informed.
“Because of constant gate cut-off changes by carriers, export movements have taken a hit, leading to potential missed connections and cargo rollovers for shippers,” the source added.
Furthering the pain, PSA Mumbai has restricted berthing windows for ad-hoc service calls, while the two DP World facilities are already full.
In light of this, some of the carriers are opting to discharge Nhava Sheva containers at alternative ports, mostly at Mundra, causing predictable cost and other consequences for importers.
GTI begin equipment installation and commissioning programme at the end of last month. The programme which entails six ship-to-shore cranes and three rail-mounted gantry cranes is targeted for completion in early September.
Other potential supply chain problems have also been brought up by Forwarder sources as the congestion impact builds.
As per sources, one can expect Export gate-in times to reduced and truck waiting times to increase due to road snarls. In addition to this, a shortage of containers is forthcoming as the inflow of empties becomes limited.
To mitigate the disruptions APMT is utilizing all the resources at its command. APMT has informed that their teams are working in close coordination to accommodate maximum calls at one berth by reducing vessel idle time, increasing operational efficiency and being flexible to ensure minimal impact for each of the services as much as possible.
The terminal has kept its customers well informed of its planned infrastructure development and is continuously keeping in touch with its customers communicating with them periodically,”.
APMT in February last year, announced the $115m “fit-for-future” project. It is said to “significantly enhance berth productivity”, thus driving vessel turnaround and operating cost advantages for carrier customers.
As per the company, with the new cranes going live, the throughput capacity at the terminal will increase by 10%, to 2.2m teu annually, and also allow it to service larger vessels, in the range of 14,000 teu, versus a maximum of 12,000 teu at present.