The Chennai Custom House Brokers the backbone of the port industry have
pledged to restore the premier position enjoyed by the Chennai port by bringing
back the lost cargo to neighbouring ports but laid down the steps to be taken
by the port administration to achieve this goal.
The brokers who are in the midst of a hectic election campaign to elect the
office bearers of their Association on September nine but the ruling group led
by outgoing President K V V Giri has released fifty one point election
manifesto pledging their commitment to the growth of chennai port and the
shipping industry at a function held here on August 28. Door to door
campaigning in the port area has commenced.
The issues raised in the manifesto include movement of export containers
continue to pose a challenge in Chennai port. The trade is losing share of
export cargo in Chennai Port. If elected the team would do the needful to
eliminate the suffering.
Explaining the issue an office bearer told Sagar Sandesh that though
overall congestion in the port has come down in the last one year, there are
days when entry into the port from Sri City distance of 30 kilometers takes 36
to 72 hours. Efforts would be continued to remove the bottlenecks in the
movement of export containers by interacting with stakeholders and the Chennai
Despite the commissioning of the Ennore Manali road improvement project
EMRIP the last mile connectivity to Chennai port continues to be a problem on
The sources said the time has come to review the role of the two container
terminals operating at Chennai port.
Both the terminals are keen on handling import cargo with emphasis on
quick discharge of the vessel from the port. Handling of export cargo is not
given priority and consequently the export cargo move to nearby ports.
Another issue causing concern is the insistence of customs on paying
penalty if the bill of entry is not filed within 24 hours of the arrrival of
cargo. The penalty charged by the customs is passed on to the brokers by the
The sources said the penalty has to be paid by the importers under the
regulations but they pass it on to us. We have represented to finance Minister
Arun Jaitley to take up with the Central Board of Excise and Customs about the
need for giving more time to the trade to file the bill of entry.
Both exporters of Marine cargo and importers of perishables like fruits
faced a problem in Chennai port due to inadequate plug point to charge the
system. They would take up with Chennai Port administration to increase plug
points which will help in reducing the transaction cost.
They would also impress upon the need to improve the infrastructure at
Central Ware Housing Corporation's ware houses in Madhavaram and Virugambakkam.
Space is a serious constraint and there are limited number of forklifts to
carry the cargo.
The Authorised Economic Operators percentage of clearance from Chennai port
is around 17 per cent at present. The brokers association will ensure that
special status to be conferred to more members. AEO status gives facilities for
speedy clearance of cargo with minimum intervention by the Customs.
The Direct Port Delivery in the Chennai port is around 21 per cent of the
total imports handled. The brokers would work with the port administration to
increase the quntum of DPD. Under this system the imports directly move to the
manfacturer/customers godowns and customs examinations if any take place there.
Under normal circumstances, the imports move to Container Freight Stations
where the cargo is destuffed and examined by customs, stuffed into containers
once again and taken to the manufacturers’ premises. DPD saves lot of time and
helps in better inventory managment for the manufacturing companies.
There are disputes between the brokers and the Steamer Agents regarding
damages to containers while they are handled at the port and container freight
stations. A solution would be found with insurance companies as one time
The association will also press the customs administration to post more
officers at the emerging ports of Ennore and Katupalli in keeping with the
increased work load in these ports.
Hectic campaigning is on between four panels. Elections among the 800 odd
customs brokers operating at Chennai port will take place in September nine and
the new set of office bearers will hold office for a two year term.