CHENNAI: Terminals at the Chennai Port, India’s busiest East Coast public gateway, are making steady progress on the Direct Port Delivery (DPD) program meant to speed import discharges and shore up productivity.
Chennai’s April-to-June DPD share rose to about 17 percent of its total imports from roughly 14 percent in the corresponding period last year.
DPD shipments in the first fiscal quarter reached 38,479 TEU, out of 224,594 TEU of inbound traffic, versus 30,144 TEU and 214,785 TEU, respectively, according to an analysis of port data collected by JOC.com.
Further, the share of railed cargo through Chennai terminals is also picking up, with export and import intermodal containers during June increasing to 7,446 TEU from 7,051 TEU in the prior month, statistics show.
Those changes seemingly had a positive impact on Chennai’s productivity levels in the last month as average turnaround time for a container ship was down to 1.15 days from 1.17 days previously, average gross crane rates were up to 25.3 moves per hour from 24.3 moves per hour, and average output per ship berth day rose to 34,693 tonnes (38,162 tonnes) from 29,801 tonnes.
As a result, Chennai’s first-quarter throughput increased 4.2 percent to 394,000 TEU from 378,000 TEU previously, despite. Chennai has four direct competitors for its primary hinterland markets: Krishnapatnam, Kattupalli, Ennore (Kamarajar), and Karaikal. Meanwhile, shippers in its secondary hinterland increasingly prefer to route their cargo via the major East Coast ports of Cochin (Vallardpadam) and Visakhapatnam because of cost advantages and operational efficiency.
Krishnapatnam has developed a practice of benchmarking their charges to the port charges in Chennai. However a key factor to watch in the coming months as authorities at Chennai work to keep up that growth momentum is shippers’ response toward road-to-rail freight conversion in order to ease pressure on the port’s strained road infrastructure.