To boost container trade, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has started direct port delivery (DPD) facility at its container terminal.
The facility is expected to benefit importers as the containers will be directly delivered to the consignees, instead of waiting in container freight stations for clearance, which takes anywhere between nine and 11 days.
According to port officials, this will also lead to significant cost savings for the importers on transaction, logistics and inventory, bringing costs down to about one-third of what it is at present.
Anil Diggikar, chairman of JNPT said, “When a container is at the container freight station, it costs Rs 10,000 per day per container on an average to the importer. So, if it lies for 9-10 days, the cost goes up to Rs 1 lakh per container. With DPD facility, there is a direct saving of Rs 1 lakh per container, and reduction in inventory, logistics and transaction costs will be added advantage to the importers”.
Diggikar said the importers will be able to take delivery of their containers in less than two days against the existing nine days, which will de-congest the port and expedite delivery of consignments, curtailing warehouse and logistics cost. However, because of capacity constraints, slowdown in global container traffic, and the time taken for the exit of the cargo from the port have led to a flat growth in container volumes of the port between April and December 2015. According to data from Indian Ports Association, JNPT handled 3,357 20-ft containers in the first nine months of FY16 against 3,346 20-ft containers in April-December period of FY15.
JNPT is considered the most-congested port in India, and has been losing business to private ports over the last few years, as they boast of better infrastructure and faster turnaround time. Diggikar said DPD facility will enhance container movement at port thereby increasing cargo volumes as well. To begin with, the port is extending this facility to its existing 143 accredited client programmers (ACP) clients. ACPs refers to those clients of ports who are regular importers and are marked safe by the customs department depending on their past records and other criterion as made by the department.
At present, 10-14 agencies which fulfil the criteria of importing 300 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) on an average per month were availing the DPD facility. However, the port authorities have now waived the requirement of minimum volume and all ACPs irrespective of their trade volume can avail this facility at the port.
Neeraj Bansal, deputy chairman of JNPT said at present these 143 ACPs form about 2-3% of the overall importer base of the port. “We are hoping that this share goes up to 15-20% in the coming days, provided the importers meet norms of the customs department”.
As part of the plans to increase capacity at the port, JNPT has already signed Rs 8,000 crore contract with Port of Singapore Authority to build its fourth container terminal on PPP mode. The port has plans to handle 10 million TEUs of containers in the next five years.