** Sagar Sandesh print version ceases to be published from December 31, 2017. New look E-paper would be available from Jan. 1, 2018 onwards. free of cost.**

The industry fears more diversion of cargo from Chennai port as it maintains the revision minimal

When private ports in the vicinity are reducing tariff to attract cargo, Chennai port saddled with excessive labor has resorted to upward revision of tariff with effect from November 29. The revision became necessary following huge wage bill the port has to incur after a massive wage revision announced by the Shipping Ministry from January 2017.

The cost of labor in the port has increased considerably forcing the port to hike the tariff according to official sources.

Tariff hike will make the port more uncompetitive

With two major shipping lines Maersk and Hyundai Merchant navigation having deserted Chennai port in favor of neighboring ports, the tariff hike will make the port more uncompetitive. With connectivity projects moving at snail’s pace, tariff hike has come at an inappropriate time when the port is struggling for cargo.

Volumes during the first nine months of the current year have shown a negative trend

Chairman of the port Mr P Raveendran had admitted at a news conference recently that the volumes during the first nine months of the current year have shown a negative trend. IPA reports indicate the volumes at the port have come down to about 28 million tons during the first nine months of the year less by nearly three million tons during the corresponding period last year.

The port has announced a 35 per cent increase in stevedoring costs, about 30 per cent in wharfage and vessel related charges and about 45 per cent in demurrage according to industry sources. Increased cost of cargo handling at Chennai port will lead to ships moving to adjacent Kamarajar Kattupalli or Krishnapatnam ports.

Industry: don’t not load the industry with additional costs merely to offer more pay to the workers

The industry representatives had represented to the shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya during his recent visit to Chennai port that the authorities should not load the industry with additional costs merely to offer more pay to the workers. That the Minister did not yield to the demands of the trade became clear when the port came out with a notification announcing the new scale of rates.

Port defends tariff hike

Defending the tariff increase, a spokesman of the port said that the Scale of Rates were revised with due consultation of the stakeholders, and most of their concerns were taken care of and thereafter the draft  proposal for the revision of SoR was sent to Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), besides publishing the proposed SoR in the Chennai Port website as per the TAMP guidelines.

TAMP, after due process, conducted the public hearing with all the stakeholders. The issues raised during the meeting were again analysed and many of the increases proposed such as ‘cold move’ charges; double berth hire charges for occupation of double berth by large ships; increase in wharfage for cereals and pulses and fertilizers; wharfage rates for oil bunkering, coir and jute, documentation charges  were withdrawn.

The increase was mainly in areas like on board the ship labor charges which was necessitated due to pay revision from January 1, 2017, and the Chennai Port had absorbed this increase till date. “The overall increase in tariff due to the revision will be below five per cent for a ship calling at the port,” the spokesman maintained.

Copyright © 2020 PORT TO PORT - Shipping Services Portal ( Sagar Sandesh ). All rights reserved.

Follow Us