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Chennai port faced its biggest loss when the coal and dusty cargo handling was banned as per the direction of the Madras High Court

SS: How is the Chennai Port bracing up for the competition from Private ports in the vicinity like Katupalli and Krishnapatnam?

 

AAJ: With recent developments and competition from private ports such as Katupalli Krishnapatnam, Karaikal, Chennai port is expected to deliver firm fight to maintain its market advantage.

 On the other hand the fact remains that comparing Major port with a Private port is inappropriate, since Operational and hierarchy systems of governance varies between a major and a private port.

 Chennai port faced its biggest loss when the coal and dusty cargo handling was banned as per the direction of the Madras High Court. Coal handling used to contribute major share in Chennai Port’s revenue. Following the departure of coal many major bulk cargoes also left the port It is sad to noted that some of the major shipping lines have also shifted their operations to Katupalli and Krishnapatnam port. Nevertheless Chennai Port is making all its efforts to fight the challenges and hopefully those efforts should reap its benefits in near future.

 

 EMRIP is ready, Maduravayoal Elevated Corridor will be ready in three years. The Chennai Ports Gate for DPD cargo is being extended to CONCOR’S Tondiarpet Yard. Containers from Chennai port will move to Puducherry port soon avoiding congested roads. Will all these infra projects have a bearing on the volumes of Chennai port?

 

Answer:

 

Ennore Manali Road Improvement Program (EMRIP) is a productive project. Its productivity will be consumed in full capacity before long. Anticipating increase in container volumes in Katupalli , Enmore and also from Chennai Port , EMRIP will host as vital medium to cater the upcoming future demand.

 

Chennai Port Maduravayol Elevatged Corridor project is a zealous project for Chennai Port. If the project could have been commissioned as per schedule, it could have given a quantum business advantage for Chennai Port and also introduction of new customers.

 The Maduravayol Corridor will not only reduce road transport time as well as cost but also costs to the shipper. Since project has run into rough weather and expected to be completed only after three years, the benefits to Chennai port can be anticipated thereafter.

 Chennai and Puducherry Port ‘Satellite Port’ proposal was signed on 14th March 2017. Physical business prospects are however yet to be assessed. There is need for a satellite Port only when there is limited land availability, draft inadequacy, de-congest the container traffic.

 Given market conditions, the following aspects need to be taken into consideration such as customers interests, Shipping lines feasibility, storage capacities and cargo volumes movements etc.

 Chennai port is well equipped with 2 world class container terminals, but their volumes are drastically dripping and, customers and lines are increasingly shifting to neighboring ports ,

 

The container traffic evacuation problems in the port have considerably eased during the last one year and the drafts has been increased to cater large sized ships. Hence the satellite port project along with Puducherry port might face teething problems in the beginning in securing business but could flourish if economical and promising business concepts are worked out.

 

As a person from the EXIM trade based in Chennai what are your suggestions to make the Chennai Port vibrant in the East coast?

 

Being associated with Chennai port for more than 4 decades, we have seen the glorious period of Chennai port which then used to be the market leader among major ports in India. As time passed with several ups and downs, it is to be noted that Chennai Port is surviving after all the odds, challenges and competitions. As a dedicated port customer and well wisher following are my suggestions to Chennai Port:

 

Chennai port was the first port in the country to introduce anchorage bunkering. During the initial stages it catered to few vessels by supplying bunkers at Anchorage but now the bunker traffic has come to a stand-still. Chennai Port anchorage is considered one of the strategic points for bunkering taking into consideration the calm nature of the sea.

 

Bunkering can fetch profitable revenues to the port where investment from the port requires none. Countries like Singapore, Sri Lanka and Fujairah serve us a perfect example of revenue earned from bunkering vessels. Chennai Port should re-consider and plan efforts to develop more bunkering operations at anchorage.

 

Chennai port under the guidance of the Shipping Ministry should form a Task Force The Task force should comprise of the Port’s highest authority, Customs, Immigration and most important sections from the trade (i.e. importers, exporters, ship agents, charterers, etc) . This committee should meet once in fortnight and important proposals and solutions to be decided and reported to the MOS.

 

Chennai Port should market with customers directly. Marketing strategies should be on par with the private ports. Processing customers’ proposals should be executed at the earliest and not to exceed beyond 7 working days. Customer should sense ‘Ease of doing of Business’ concept with Chennai port.

 

With development and the modernization of new passenger terminal, Chennai port should market for Passenger / Cruise ships. Chennai port is located in strategic position where connectivity for tourist bound locations is easily accessible.

Chennai port should find ways and means to handle coal cargoes again. Though Madras High court had pronounced judgment on this matter, Chennai Port should consult its legal advisors and find possibilities to handle coal cargo again.

 

Three decades ago there was one Chennai port to cater to the requirements for the three southern states. But now there are three major ports around Chennai sharing the same hinterland. How difficult is it to attract traffic?

 

Under the Govt of India Sagarmala’ project, Chennai port is sharing its business with other major and minor ports. My personal views are as follows regarding the situation:

- Competition and Efficiency will be valued.

- Customer satisfaction and choices can be reviewed.

- Competitive rates can be introduced.

- Manufacturing and factory units will be restored near such ports. In the past it used to come up near ports like Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai but has drifted deep into heartland. Port based manufacturing reduces logistics costs drastically. In the absence of new ports under ‘ Sagarmala’ and if only one port prevails then exporters and importers would suffer high logistics costs via rail or road taking present connectivity issues.  More ports merrier for the trade.

 Example: In India, every street has 2 to 3 Tea shops. How come all Tea Shops run successful?

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