Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Flags-off Dwarf Container Train at JNPT


In a major development at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), one of India’s premier container handling port, the Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, virtually flagged-off the dwarf container train service from JNPT in the presence of Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Sanjay Sethi, IAS, Chairman, JNPT and Unmesh Sharad Wagh, IRS, Deputy Chairman, JNPT. With this, the first consignment of laden Dwarf containers from Dwarf container depot (DCD) at the port was being moved by train to ICD Kanpur.

The port is set to gain steadily from the implementation the Dwarf container train services from JNPT, as the rail movement of EXIM cargo through double stacked dwarf containers, would offer competitive cost advantage to the EXIM community, resulting in an increase in port cargo traffic via rail route. As the name suggests, the ‘Dwarf Containers’ are lesser in height by 660 mm than normal ISO containers, giving them a logistical edge. The Low height of dwarf container loaded on trailers can pass through rural, semi urban and urban roads, through limited height subways & level crossing in electrified sections.

Furthermore, the ‘Dwarf’ containers provide a 67% increase in volume when double-stacked and can carry a weight of 71 tons, against 40 tons by an ISO container. In addition, Indian Railways has offered 17% discount on haulage cost compared to double stack ISO container trains, resulting in an overall 33% discount to shippers making Indian Railways competitive. Thus the rail movement of cargo through Dwarf containers has the potential to lower the EXIM logistics costs, making Indian exports globally competitive

“The commencement of Dwarf container train services from JNPT is a pivotal step towards streamlining the rail movement of EXIM cargo via double-stacked dwarf containers. This will give the EXIM community a competitive cost advantage by lowering hinterland logistical costs, while simultaneously enhancing rail-cargo traffic at JNPT. Dwarf containers are port-friendly and can be manufactured in India at a cost-efficient price point, thereby opening-up opportunities for Make in India.”

~ Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, Waterways & Ayush

The move will result in more competitive Exports and enhance export from India. A robust logistics sector can go a long way in boosting India’s quest for being a manufacturing giant and promote ‘Make in India’. This will also help JNPT in increasing throughput, reduce congestions at gate and road; increase DPD which will further reduce cost of logistics for shippers, also improve turnaround time of shipping line containers, and address container shortage issues.

In line with this, a location within the JNPT container terminal was identified for the establishment of Dwarf Container Depot, where cargo transfer from ISO containers to dwarf containers would be carried out thereby making availability of empty ISO containers at the Port itself for export repositioning. Currently the trade is facing shortage of ISO containers for exports and this initiative can be a game changer as the turnaround time of containers will come down from month to few days as the import laden ISO containers need not go all the way to the Hinterland. The cargo will be emptied and shifted to dwarf containers and the empty ISO containers would be readily available to the nearby CFS/factory for export stuffing.

Pristine Mega Logistics Park Pvt. Ltd, was appointed as the operator through a public tender floated by JNPT for ‘management, maintenance and operations of a dedicated dwarf container depot (D-Depot) inside the Port area.

The commencement of the dwarf container train services from JNPT will further diversify the Port’s interlinked logistical trade avenues. Furthermore, it will enable the port to offer lower logistics costs to the EXIM community, increase rail as well as overall container volume throughput, decongest gate and road cargo traffic, promoting direct port delivery.

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