CHENNAI: The Gateway port to East Coast Chennai will soon handle 3 million TEUs per annum when the proposed dry port it is planning to set up in North Western Tamil Nadu takes off Chennai Port Chairman P Raveendran said recently while adding that the two terminals of the port are expected to handle 1.5 million TEUs during the current financial year.
The terminal run by the PSA has handled eight lakh TEUs during the calendar year 2016. Its tally is expected to go up to one million TEUs during 2017.
On the issue of congestion he said with one main entrance to the port, as many as two thousand tractor trailers move in and out of the port on a daily basis in Chennai Port.
He said the existing container terminals can handle three million TEUs. To facilitate capacity utilisation the port is planning to set up a dry port nearer to Bangalore as well as Tirupur and Coimbatore to facilitate the swift evacuation of containers and problems are minimized.
Stating that drop in container traffic in Chennai Port as temporary phenomena he said the drop is being contained through aggressive marketing and effective handling at the port. Container handling which went down by six per cent in October last year compared to the figure in the previous year is only minus four per cent in November December last year.
The bulk cargo however went up by six lakh tonnes during the same period notwithstanding the slowdown in global economy.
Chennai Port has achieved sixteen per cent direct delivery of cargo from the Port to the importer's factory premise, the highest among the Indian Major Ports. The port will achieve the 40 per cent direct delivery target set up by the Shipping Ministry soon.
Direct Delivery Service from the port to the factory premise instead of routing through container freight stations reduces handling time by two to three days on an average. The customs examination takes place at factory premises instead of at CFS.
About the changes brought about by the Port which has helped to tackle congestion the Chairman said RFID system to locate containers have been introduced in both the terminals. Movement of cargo vehicles inside the port premises is regulated. As a result Hyundai car carriers which brings vehicles for export enter the port at dawn and leave by dusk.
On long term, the revival of Port Maduravoyal Elevated Corridor will be a boon for the Port. Following the meeting the Shipping Minister for State Mr. Pon Radhakrishnan had with State Chief Minister recently issues delaying the project have been sorted out.
The National Highway Authority of India will be preparing a Detailed Plan incorporating the suggestions made by the Tamil Nadu Government in the next few months. Work on the project is expected to be revived by the middle of the current year he added.