Chennai Port is more likely to retain the ‘numero uno’ position in car handling among the major ports in the country in the current financial year 2012-13, latest data released from the port has revealed.
According to official sources, the number of cars handled as on March 1 stands at 2, 48, 469 units as against 2, 35, 826 handled during the same period last year.
“After the Madras High Court ban on coal and iron ore handling, we have focused on many avenues for improving our handling figures and cars are one among them,” a senior Chennai Port Trust official told Sagar Sandesh.
It may be noted here that the port's nearest competitor – Ennore Port Limited (EPL) - had handled about 1.04 lakh cars last year and this year (2012-13), the port is expected to handle about 1.60 lakh car units.
Besides, the port management also pooh-poohed the popular notion among the EXIM industry that the port, without iron ore and coal handling, would suffer a huge revenue loss as well as plummet on annual figures.
“A substantial increase in handling the dry bulk cargoes viz., barytes, limestone and dolomite has made good the loss in coal and iron ore,” the senior official said.
Besides, the Chennai Port also achieved a throughput of 48.66 MT up to February compared to 51.30 MT achieved for the same period February 2012. However, excluding the throughput of iron ore and coal for the period ending February vis-à-vis the corresponding period of the previous year, the throughput is 48.66 MT and 48.06 MT respectively registering a growth of 1.25 per cent, the official added.
Apart from this, the land area rendered surplus due to the vacation of coal plots measuring about 2, 78, 518 sq.m., since October 2011, has contributed more space for the storage and thereby resulted in attracting clean cargo for the port.
As the port has been showing better performance on the handling front, M/s. State Trading Corporation (STC) exported about two lakh tonnes of wheat through Chennai Port for the first time from October 2012. With these types of diversified interests to remain in the race, we are expected to handle more such clean cargoes to compensate the loss in suspending the dusty cargoes, the official said.
On witnessing the encouraging wheat vessels’ ship day output, it is reliably learnt that STC plans to export one lakh tonnes per month through Chennai Port from April.
On the productivity improvement front, the port envisages to levy half shift gang charges as an effective strategy to improve the productivity at optimized cost. The physical efficiency of the port has witnessed considerable improvement ensuring higher standard amidst competitive growth in the region.