MUMBAI: Mumbai Port, the Country’s biggest State-owned port, will see its staff strength halve by 2021 as large number of employees are due for retirement. With the port having no plans of fresh hiring to replace the retired employees, it is gearing up for a strong operating profit in the coming years. As on March 31, 2016, Mumbai Port has a staff strength of 10,364 employees.
Currently, of the total operating expenses of the port, about 68-72 per cent forms the salary and wages component. With 4,700 employees retiring over the next five years, this expense outgo is expected to drop significantly in turn leading to expansion of margins.
“We haven’t made any fresh hirings since 1990s and there are no plans to replace those retiring. We have automated our processes already and so our manpower requirement has dropped,” Deputy Chairman Yashodhan A Wanage, IRS, said recently. “The balance manpower strength (5,600 employees) is an optimal size for us.”
Meanwhile, the port is chalking out major plans to make itself more competitive on the West Coast and lower operating expenses in the coming years which would give itself the necessary financial leverage.
With the saved expenses (from wages), the port plans to outsource several activities to lower logistics cost and improve cost to trade in turn making Mumbai Port more competitive, explained Wanage.
“Our handling expenses will come down by half upon outsourcing, which works out to be cheaper than having a dedicated staff to carry out the activities. The port will also save on overtime cost, which is quite high,” Wanage said, without giving details of the overtime expenses the port has to regularly bear.
As per the latest Ministry of Shipping data, the total cargo handled by Major Ports during April to October 2016 stood at 37 mn tonnes. During November 2016, it stood at 54 mn tonnes, an increase of 11% while in December all Major Ports handled 57 mn tonnes, an increase of 13% compared to its previous corresponding period.