Port Wings News Network:
Sending direct signals to the Chennai Port management on a possible switch-over of calling port in the near future if the congestion and impromptu strikes by container trailers are not arrested in time, Maersk Line, which strongly vouches for reliability and adherence to its customers, suddenly decided to call at L&T Kattupalli Port instead of calling at Chennai port.
According to sources, though the sudden change of port of call by Maersk Line from Chennai to Kattupalli (some 30 kms north of Chennai Port) on June 15 has been maintained as “contingency plan” due to continuing congestion and impromptu strikes by container trailers for the past few weeks, trade fraternity strongly feel that the “Message is served to Chennai Port management.”
L&T Ports Kattupalli is a division of L&T Shipbuilding Limited, a joint venture company formed by Larsen & Toubro Limited and Government of Tamil Nadu’s Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Limited (TIDCO).
According to details available, Maersk Line had approached Chennai Customs on June 12 to allow them to discharge all containers and load all export containers – where the Shipping Bills had already been filed at Chennai Port (INMAA)- through Kattupalli Port. After analyzing the appeal from the shipping liner, Chennai Customs accepted the request and issued necessary permissions within a matter of hours.
Accordingly, Maersk vessel MV Sea Land Comet berthed at Kattupalli at 0200 hrs on June 15th and after exchanging 3246 TEUs sailed at 0400 hrs on June 16th with vessel turnaround time of 26 hours, impeccable by standards in Indian ports.
Import containers were moved from Kattupalli Port to many of the prominent CFS’s , with APMT, Triway, Sattva etc complementing Kattupalli Port on the handling.
Transporters were also expressed happiness on the swift turnaround time, with one truck making three or more round trips a day from CFS’s to the port. Exim community has benefitted from this move and appreciated the support from Chennai Customs at such short notice. They also complimented Maersk Line for making the move.
The CHA community also responded very quickly to the change in port of call and appreciated the support provided by Kattupalli Port in familiarization with the processes there. Kattupalli port has come in for praise by the Exim community for their performance at such short notice and for the facilities offered to users. Trade also noted the ease of using this modern port situated on the northern outskirts of Chennai.