CHENNAI : Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) has drawn up plans to shore up its car exports, said a top official.
“We have to act fast as other Ports has also started handling vehicles,” said P. Raveendran, Chairman, Chennai Port Trust. “In the last few months, the export volume had gone up due to its aggressive pricing.” Chennai Port used to handle about two lakh vehicles every year. Hyundai accounted for a major chunk of it, followed by Nissan and Ford.
A change in the production strategy of Hyundai led to a substantial fall in export volumes at the Chennai Port. Nissan and Ford shifted to the nearby Kamarajar Port. Currently, Kamarajar Port handles more than two lakh vehicles, while Chennai Port’s car export numbers have fallen below 1.50 lakh units.
Having served as Chairman for more than a year, Mr. Raveendran had analysed the reasons for the sudden decline in export volume and discovered that Nissan and Ford had moved to Kamarajar Port due to space constraint for parking the vehicles meant for export, besides traffic congestion. However, tariff was not an issue.
“Earlier, it used to take two days for trailers to make a round trip from the factory to the port. On a daily basis, about 800 trailers entered the port. However, they had to wait till next day to exit due to the ban on heavy vehicles movement during daytime. We have made certain modifications and now they are able to exit the same day. By this, we have taken care of a major problem,” the Chairman said.
From April to October 2017, Chennai Port handled 55,000 vehicles as against 75,000 in the corresponding year earlier period. This year, the target is 1.30 lakh vehicles.
“Exporting goods through coastal movement and creating a coastal berth of 60,000 sq.mts for 1,200 vehicles are some of the experiments we are doing. We have also given 80% concession on vessel and cargo-related charges,” he said.