Year end export loading demand posing challenges at Nhava Sheva

In order to secure government incentives, the loading demand from exporters witnesses a surge at the ports. Such an escalation is reportedly creating operational challenges at the Nhava Sheva Port (JNPT) due to shortage of reefer plugs and disruption from dredging work which due to start next week. JNPT is also seeing higher demand and restricted capacity after APM Terminals, Mumbai decommissioned one of its berths for crane upgrades.

Industry sources said seasonal grape exports have been hit by the shortage of plugs on the dock, causing potential losses for perishables traders. Capacity restrictions are currently posing a risk of cargo delays for shippers.

“The limitation of reefer plugs at NSICT [a DP World terminal] remains a challenge,” said Sunil Vaswani, Executive Director of the Container Shipping Lines Association. “This is critical due to the increased volumes of grape shipments this year, which need to be shipped before the financial year ends.”

Shipping giant Maersk issued a customer advisory which said that vessels were also facing the risk of sailing light, due to terminal restrictions on gate moves, particularly for calls out of NSICT. Maersk has acknowledged the tight situation at Nhava Sheva and is in contact with their clients to help manage their supply chains efficiently. “We have seen huge traffic queues and congestion outside terminals, impacting export gate-in and delivery of imports, as well,” their advisory noted.

The supply chain setbacks come as the Indian government is pushing pro-export industry groups to maximise shipments in order to scale-up annual trade volumes. Though Indian exports fell 9% (by value), industry leaders sounded optimistic about respectable export growth in the current fiscal year, on the back of India’s stable and resilient position amid the global headwinds.

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