Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) had recently announced that it won’t be handling containerized cargo originating from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan from November 15th at the Mundra Port in Gujarat. Exporters worry that this will lead to increased domestic logistics cost for the export sector and Federation of Indian Exporters (FEIO) Vice Chairman Khalid Khan said that it will lead to congestion at JNPT, Mumbai as the shipments will be directed there.
The move will increase freight cost by 20-25 per cent. Congestion at JNPT will also increase. We will urge the commerce and shipping ministries to look into the matter to find a solution.Khalid Khan, Vice Chairman, FEIO
FEIO is currently observing the impact of the decision on trade with the countries subjected to restriction at Mundra Port, and plans to approach the government if required. The shipments – including domestic freight for exports – bound for Mundra Port from will have to be diverted to JNPT. This will increase freight congestion as JNPT will handle cargo not only from near Mumbai areas but also northern and western parts of the country.
On the other hand, Sharad Kumar Saraf (Founder/Chairman Technocraft Industries India) criticized APSEZ’s decision and suggested precaution over total cessation. His recommendations include a strong and vigilant custom’s department to revamp & tighten the inspection of cargo at Mundra Port in order to prevent the import of illegal materials. He also insinuated building and maintaining trade relations with Iran and Afghanistan so that the genuine trade activity between India and these countries is not hampered.
APSEZ issued a ‘trade advisory’ which mentioned that the decision applies to all terminals operated by them throughout the country. On September 13, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) had detained two containers that had arrived at Mundra Port from Kandahar in Afghanistan via Bandar Abbas port of Iran.