The Journal of Commerce reports that Chennai Port has overcome much of its access problems that had been a key contributor to the shift of cargoes from the public gateway to nearby privately operated minor cargo terminals on India’s east coast.
Coordinated efforts at Chennai aimed at speeding truck turn times have yielded significant positive results. Average truck visit times from container freight stations to port gates have been reduced from roughly 40 hours in 2014 to nearly 15 hours earlier this year and to just over seven hours as of June 1, according to the JICA report.
During the past year, the port administration has aggressively worked with other stakeholders to deal with the port’s notorious truck congestion by introducing a string of measures that included extensive refurbishing of the port approach road, opening a “document screening center” outside the harbor to prevent trucks without complete shipping documents from entering the queue and introduction of new rail incentives to lure shippers away from trucks. Most recently, the port set up radio-frequency identification technology for gate operations.
In addition, DP World-operated Chennai Container Terminal also launched a mobile app that allows its customers to track the whereabouts of their containers. It is available for Android operating systems and can be downloaded from the Google Play store by keying in “DPW Chennai.”
Authorities are hoping that gate productivity improvements brought on by automation and other measures will help arrest the port’s decline in traffic and recapture some of the volumes that have shifted to private ports.
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