Chennai port sets new record
Chennai port sets new record in container handling. East Coast’s gateway port handled 15.70 lakh TEUs on March 21.
The Chennai port has surpassed its own record in container handling. The East Coast’s gateway port handled 15.70 lakh TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) as on March 21 — 10 days ahead of the fiscal closure.
The previous record of 15.65 lakh TEUs was achieved in 2015-16.
The Chennai port has two private container terminals — Chennai International Terminals Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of PSA International, Singapore, and Chennai Container Terminal Pvt Ltd of DP World, Dubai.
The port handles around 1.5 million TEUs a year. serving It serves Chennai, special economic zones around the city, Bengaluru, southern Andhra Pradesh and parts of southern Tamil Nadu. Nearly 50 per cent of the container traffic is transshipped from Chennai to ports in South-East Asia.
With the growth of new private ports such as Krishnapatnam and Katupalli in the vicinity and the development of a container terminal at Kamarajar port in Ennore, Chennai port could see significant competition and a possible reduction in container traffic going forward.
Located within the city, the Chennai port also faces evacuation challenges. In case a new transshipment hub on the southernmost tip of the country becomes operational, the traffic could decline further, the Master Plan for the Chennai port prepared in 2017 had flagged.
The container traffic also has been stagnating at about 1.5 million TEUs for the past few years — this is only about 50 per cent of the available capacity. This is due to evacuation problems of containers and the competition from nearby ports.
Boston Consultants Group, in a report, had suggested that CCTPL increase the yard equipment to balance the dockside operations and the yard operations to ensure smooth flow of containers. There is also a need to provide additional yard space for CCTPL.
The consultant also suggested developing a common railway yard to increase the volume of evacuation by rail to ease the road congestion. This yard could be developed on the southern side of the port where sufficient area is available for laying additional railway sidings.
P Raveendran, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust, in a press release, stressed the port will strive to achieve improved performance and productivity in order to attract more volumes.