Container trailer operators functioning in Cochin Port have gone on a flash
strike for the last four days since July 10 demanding parking space for their
vehicles in the Port area. The Port authorities have recently banned parking of
Container Trailers on both sides of the road leading to container station while
alternate parking area have not been provided for them. However, the allegations
being made by the lorry operators are baseless, Cochin Port Trust has said in a
The Cochin Port Chairman P Raveendran has appealed to the trailer operators
to drop their unreasonable demands and call off their strike. They should fully
utilise the slots allotted to them. The strike would affect the Exim trade of
the port, local businesses besides causing unemployment in the transport
Cochin Port has been making arrangements for parking of lorries and
container carriers wherever necessary. A parking terminal was constructed in
Willingdon Island in 2008 and the same is being operated by Cochin Steamer
Similarly, a parking slot developed at Bolgatty Island in June 2015 is
being operated by Arpitha. During the 2014-16 period, notice inviting tenders
for developing truck parking areas were put out as many as 8 times. But the
efforts were not successful.
It was in this context the port decided to allot land to PSU oil companies
on nomination basis for the purpose. Accordingly, one area was allotted to BPCL
in Vallarpadam in July 2016 and the company has partially developed the
terminal. Another land parcel has been allotted to IOCL and the company is in
the process of developing the facility.
The Willingdon Island parking facilities for accommodating 310 trailers are
available, and in Vallarpadam area there is parking facility for accommodating
445 trailers. And more is proposed to be developed. No other port in India has
earmarked so much of land for parking facilities, the port administration said
As regards the trailer traffic to Valarpadam, it may be noted that the ICTT
had handled 4.91 lakh containers last year, which require about 3.8 lakh
trailers at the TEU ratio of 1.3, which translates into 1,041 trailers in a
Hardly around 300 trailers are parked on the road leading to the container
station, which is nothing but waiting for the next call of business, while the
others are on the run. The contention of the Trailer Owners Association that
there are 1,750 trailers that require parking and the current facilities can
serve only a fraction of the demand is devoid of merit as there are adequate
parking facilities for the trailers that call the ICTT for business.
The Owners Association has also raised a demand of providing sufficient and
free parking facilities for the trailers by the Port Trust and has also stated
that they are not in a position to arrange parking facilities for their
It is to be noted that the business model of container transportation is on
profit basis. Therefore, to demand free parking when services are provided on
chargeable basis to the clients is not justified. It is also the case that
development of parking terminal entails substantial investment which can earn
revenue only through collection of parking fee.
The Truck Owners Association is also demanding facility of free parking as
is being provided to vehicles engaged on contract by oil companies. In the case
of transport of petroleum products, it is the oil company that arranges the
transport through dedicated trucks, which is arranged through tender.
The trucks cannot load anything other than the goods of the particular oil
company. The oil company naturally arranges facilities for their dedicated
transport chain. In the case of container trailers, there is no such
arrangement either with the container terminal or the Port Trust, as it is the
concerned exporter and importer or their agents who arrange for transport of
Moreover, the ICTT operator is providing parking facilities for the
trailers entering the terminal for business (picking import and dropping export
boxes) as is the case at all container terminals across India.
Further, ICTT, Vallarpadam is a PPP project of the Cochin Port Trust in
partnership with DP World and the License Agreement which governs the terminal
has no provision for the Cochin Port Trust to provide parking facilities for container
trailers at Vallarpadam.
However, the port has been making suitable arrangements for parking of
trucks coming to the facility for business and has plans for more such
facilities in the future. The move of the trailer operators to stop services
citing the reason of non-availability of parking space is unreasonable and
unjustified, the port administration said.
called on the operators to make use of the currently available developed
facilities fully. More truck parking terminals would come up once the available
ones are fully utilised.