Update: On 17 April, NYK Line released a statement which said that normal operations have resumed but that APMT Mumbai’s gates are operating very slowly, with truck turnaround times inside the terminal of around six hours.
Gate closures and a shortage of rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) crane operators are contributing to ongoing bottlenecks at the APM Terminals-operated Gateway Terminals India (GTI) in the country’s biggest port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP).
Shipping line, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) issued a statement, confirming that export movements by road to GTI would be closed between 14 April and 8am on 16 April.
GTI, also known as APMT Mumbai, handles close to 20% of India’s total container traffic and accounts for approximately 45% of JNP’s container throughput.
The south gate entrance to GTI, was closed on 12 April and was non-functional according to a trade advisory from the Brihanmumbai Custom House Agents’ Association (BCHAA).
Milan Desai, the association’s export committee chairman, said on Tuesday that the queue outside GTI stretched to 6 km with trailers in two rows and had an average turn-around time of five hours.
Meanwhile, the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Container Terminal (JNPCT), operated by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) had a 1 km queue while the DP World-operated Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT) had a 2 km queue.
NYK Line said that from midnight on 13 April, there would be a shortage of RTG crane operators due to a local village festival.
Additionally, on 1 May there will be an annual power shut down for maintenance between 8am and 5pm, creating a significant issue for reefer cargo since diesel motor powered generators will feed only 190 refrigerated containers at the port.
A “top” JNPT source told The Dollar Business that GTI authorities had made container bookings “way above their capacity”.
Two weeks ago, Suchit Kapoor, APMT Mumbai’s deputy CCO, claimed traffic congestion on the approach roads to and from GTI had been caused by “dumper traffic movement involved in land reclamation” for JNP’s new fourth terminal.
“There is a daily movement of close to 1,500 dumpers which is expected to increase in the coming days. This dumper movement is using the existing and already limited approach road infrastructure to the port,” he noted on 2 April.
Kapoor added that “one lane of the approach road towards GTI has been barricaded by JNPT exclusively for dumper movements” to prevent container and dumper traffic mixing, yet adversely impacting gate operations.
JNP has set a throughput target of 5m teu for the current fiscal year, after handling 4.43m teu during the previous year, of which GTI handled 2.01m teu.