Published in Sagar Sandesh English Maritime Weekly Tabloid recently
The hire charges for container trailers operating between Chennai Port and the 30-odd Container freight Stations (CFSs) on the City outskirts is all set to be increased by 30 per cent, a representative of major trailer association has said.
Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, Mr. S. R. Raja, Secretary of Trailer Owner’s Association (TOA), one of the prominent associations (serving for Chennai Port) having a fleet strength of more than 3,000 trailers, said: “In the backdrop of steep rise in fuel and other maintenance cost for trailer lorries, we are forced to announce the 30 per cent hike in hire charges for all vehicles.”
“We have already sent a detailed memorandum to different stakeholders including National Association of Container Freight Stations (NACFS) and Chennai Custom House Agents Association (CCHAA) explaining the proposed hike in hire charges and expecting their reply,” he stated.
TOA, located at Royapuram, Chennai, is one of the prominent trailer operator associations extending regular connectivity for Chennai Port.
According to EXIM sources, the prevailing rate per trip, either ferrying out an import (20-ft) container from Chennai Port premises to a CFS or moving in an export container from CFS to Chennai Port, is worked out to be around Rs. 3, 500.
It may be noted here that Chennai Port fully relies on these container trailers for import and export box movements, as evacuation via rail route is relatively miniscule. On a given day, more than 3,000 trailers move in and out of Chennai Port ferrying both imported and export containers.
However, drop in container volume through Chennai Port and sudden increase in fuel and tyre cost have forced the association to revise its charges to stay on the profit side.
With the tariff hike for trailers seemed to be the only way out for them, TOA’s executive committee members met recently in Chennai and unanimously accepted the proposal put forward by the association’s important members.
“As per our estimates, movement of export containers via Chennai has dropped by 30 per cent and import has suffered a massive 40 per cent drop in the recent months. Though we have lost a considerable business due to this double attack, increase in operating cost has forced us to go for a nominal hike to keep our business in safe zone,” Mr. Raja said.
“We have sought support for the tariff hike from the NACFS and CCHAA and it will be implemented very soon,” he pointed out.