1. Home
  2. India
  3. Goods Worth 55,000 Crore Stuck In

Goods Worth 55,000 Crore Stuck In Gujarat Ports

Ahmedabad- Due to the recent ship collision near Mumbai port, more than 5,000 containers containing goods worth Rs 55,000 crores, are stuck at Gujarat ports since the Mumbai channel was declared unsafe, reports Mumbai Mirror.Sources
PTI September 01, 2010 10:13 IST
PTI
Ahmedabad- Due to the recent ship collision near Mumbai port, more than 5,000 containers containing goods worth Rs 55,000 crores, are stuck at Gujarat ports since the Mumbai channel was declared unsafe, reports Mumbai Mirror.

Sources from the shipping industry revealed that more than 2,000 containers are stationed at Gujarat Pipavav Port Ltd (GPPL) near Jamnagar and more than 3,000 containers are at Mundra International Container terminal (MICT) at Kutch.

These cargo are also awaiting custom clearance, as the customs department does not have enough staff to clear the containers, leading to further loss for the consignees. When a container is held for any reason, it attracts standing charge, berth hiring charge and storage charge.  

Shipping agents from Mumbai had to depend on Gujarat ports following the clash of cargo vessels MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia on August 7. Following the accident, about 500 containers in the vessel Chitra had fallen into the sea. While most of the containers have been recovered, officials suspect that a few more are still submerged. Therefore, a 16 km long JNPT channel is still unsafe.  

Since the consignments were diverted to Gujarat ports, many agents have been complaining about non co-operation from customs officials and harassment by local agents. “We are already suffering huge losses because of the accident and we can't match the demands to get quick custom clearance,” said a reputed shipping agent from Mumbai who did not wish to be named.  

On an average, the customs at GPPL can clear only 25 containers a day due to lack of enough manpower, while MICT customs manage the clearance of 100 containers.  

A senior official from Seahorse Ship Agencies Pvt Ltd said, “The trade was severely affected in the first week of the accident. The average container traffic in Mumbai ports is 3,50,000 to 4,00,000 containers technically known as TEU (Twenty-feet Equivalent Unit) per month, which has now come down by nearly 70 %.”  

Considering the situation, the Director General of Shipping has relaxed the conditions for shipping agents who wish to come back to JNPT. DG Shipping S B Agnihotri said, “I have already instructed officials to facilitate the stranded containers' agents and they can avail of services of foreign vessels even to come back to JNPT or MBPT without doing routine lengthy procedures and permissions.”  

Bhushan Patil, trustee JNPT, said, “Vessels with more than 12 metre drafts (a draft is the portion of the vessel submerged in the water) are not entering Mumbai ports but vessels of 9 metre draft travel by night.”  

A supply vessel   collided with a barge at Indira docks off Mumbai Coast early on Tuesday morning, but there was no casualty or any oil spill, officials said.  

“A supply vessel came in contact with a barge carrying steel coils. The barge tilted about seven degrees as a result,” a Mumbai Port trust official said, adding no vessel has capsized, nor were there any casualties.  

The Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) said the collision has not led to any oil spill. The accident took place when the Offshore Supply Vessel ‘Beas Dolphin' collided with coastal vessel (barge) ‘Nand Hajara' at Indira Dock here.