CHENNAI: Chennai Port Administration has tweaked its vessel related charges so that short haul transshipment cargo also gets the benefits of subsidies provided by it.
Port administration has been giving a series of concessions on vessel related charges during the last one year in a bid to attract main line vessels which were seen moving to adjacent ports owing to problems of evacuation in Chennai Port.
Export-import trade in Chennai Port which comprise of 60 per cent transshipment business felt left out of the monetary benefits offered by the port administration. The transshipment cargo moves from the Port to Colombo and Singapore for onward transmission to United States and the Continent.
In a bid assuage the sentiments of short haul traffic, the port set up an internal committee to look into the issue. The committee headed by acting traffic manager Bimal came out with the recommendations which were approved by the Port's Board of Directors at their meeting held late last month.
Under the new rates approved by the port's board long haul traffic will be eligible for concessions in vessel related charges from five to 40 per cent. The concession is meant to attract main line vessels.
For the first time concessions in vessel related charges for short haul traffic which is nearly 60 per cent of the Port's business have been introduced. They will be eligible for concessions ranging from 2 to fifteen per cent in VRCs from the dates the new rates come into force. The trade notice to this effect will be issued shortly said the Port's traffic manager Mr Bimal.
Mr Bimal said the new stevedoring and short handling system in all the Major Ports including Chennai comes into force from July first. Under the new system the Stevedores will be in charge of indenting of labourers in both inside ships and in the wharf. Currently they are in charge of the labour working on board the ships.
For the first time the ports will enter into revenue sharing agreement with the Stevdores. The ports sought 20 per cent revenue share with the stevedores but after protracted negotiations the rates have been fixed from Rs one to seven per tonnes depending on the value of the cargo handled.
The Port's board has also approved the reintroduction of the half shift gang system for incoming vessels and finishing vessels for cargo handling operations in order to reduce the vessel turn round time. It will also facilitate commencement of work in time after berthing of the vessel.
Under the earlier system loading and unloading operations have to wait till the shift starts as workers cannot be indented in the middle of the shift. More often the ships have to idle five to six hours average since the timing of berthing and commencement of cargo handling operations.