Port Wings News Network:
When the Government of India strongly vouching for steps to promote and ensure Ease of Doing Business in the country, a mistake (rather costly mistake) by a private container terminal operator operating out of Chennai Port has forced an importer to shell out about Rs 50,000 as additional charges to take delivery of his imported goods.
According to details available, a firm namely Balaji Flowers from Nilgiris regularly imports Lillium flower bulbs from Europe through Chennai Port. During the third week of December, the firm imported one reefer box of lillium bulbs from Holland.
The cargo, in a 20-ft Reefer Container, reached the DP World Chennai Container Terminal (also known as Chennai Container Terminal Limited –CCTL) in a Maersk Line Vessel MV Maersk Bentonville.
CCTL is one of the two container terminals in the Chennai Port and operated by Gulf’s major player DP World.
DP WORLD’S COSTLY MISTAKE
Since the importer decided to take delivery of the said container from Chennai Port itself, Balaji Flowers’ representative sent an email request to the shipping liner (Maersk Line) and asked them to hold the container for inspection and delivery from CCTL itself.
In response to the request, representative of Maersk Line intimated the importer that the Container Terminal (CCTL) has been instructed to hold the reefer box in the terminal for delivery after paying Special Service Request (SSR) charges.
However, giving scant regard to the liner’s directive, the DP World Chennai authorities moved the said container to APM Terminals CFS as a PNR movement without giving any information to the importer.
IMPORTER FORCED TO PAY MORE
With the reefer box moved to a CFS from the Port limit, the importer was forced to pay about Rs 44,000 as additional cost to release the cargo.
COLLUSION BETWEEN APM TERMINALS & DP WORLD CHENNAI
According to an importer, who wished anonymity, both the APM Terminals CFS and DP World Chennai Terminals are the culprits in the particular case.
“When the liner (Maersk Line) instructed the Container Terminal (DP World Chennai) to hold the said container at the terminal for delivery, on what basis they moved the reefer box to APM Terminals CFS is remains a mystery. The act clearly suggests that both the Terminal and CFS are hand-in-glove to extract extra charges through any possible means from importers,” he added.
According to the importer, had the container delivered to him from the terminal as instructed by the liner, he would have saved Rs 44,000, charged by the APM Terminals CFS.
REVENUE THROUGH UNLAWFUL MEANS
The importer also deplored that the illegal movement of the box from container terminal to APM Terminals CFS raises suspicion that terminal is colluding with the CFS to increase its revenue through unlawful means.
Sources in Chennai Port also alleged that the container terminal (CCTL), in collusion with most of the CFSes in the Chennai Customs Zone limit, always move huge numbers of containers under the guise of “enbloc movement” to CFS and force the importers to pay more for deliveries.
APPEAL TO THE PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE
The importers also appealed to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to identify and break such unholy nexus between different middle-level players like terminals and CFSs that are plaguing the business environment in the interest of healthy EXIM Trade.
NO REACTION FROM EITHER APM TERMINALS OR DP WORLD CHENNAI
When Port Wings sought reactions from the APM Terminals and DP World Chennai (CCTL) about the complaint of the importer, no one was available for comment.