Import-Export Operations in the three big ports
of Chennai, Kamarajar and Kattupalli remained stand still for the third day on
September 18 with over 6,000 trailers and 2,000 open trucks that carry
containers in these ports went on strike demanding revision of hire charges.
handling operations remained paralyzed in both the terminals of the Chennai
Cargo handling operations in both the terminals
of the Chennai port remained paralyzed for the third day with three ships
remaining idle at the terminal and two more ships waiting for berths in the mid
stream. The terminals would have handled nearly six thousand TEUs during the
last three days. Container handling Operations remained stand still in the two
terminals one each at Kamarjar and Katupalli ports.
talks causing worries to port users
The talks between trailer owners associations and
container freight stations (CFS), remained inconclusive, the strike continued
for the third day causing worries to port users. Around 1,500 import containers
and 1,000 export containers pass through the three ports daily and these are
moved by the trailers to and from the 32 CFSs in and around the city.
S. Nataraja, President, Customs Brokers
Association, Chennai, said that the EXIM trade in the in the three ports
remained paralysed due to the strike. “Though the demand for increase in
charges is a fair one, the trade is worried about the demurrage charges that we
would have to bear due to containers remaining inside the port. .
Individual CFSs to
take a call on rate revision
M.S. Arun, Chairman, National Association of
Container Freight Stations (Chennai chapter), said that rate revisions were to
be decided by individual CFSs since the trailer owners had contracts with each
of them. “Rates differ from one CFS to another. If there is a problem with any
CFS, then our Association can step in. For now, we remain helpless,” he said.
The spokesman of theTrailer Owners' Association
said that they were running at a loss since they were not able to carry more than
one 20-foot-long container at a time as they were being fined for driving
overweight trailers by the traffic Police
Only 20 per cent of the 1 lakh containers used in
the three ports are 40-foot-long. So, most of the time, trailers carry
20-footers for which we are paid less when compared to the bigger ones. Unless
the rates are revised, over 50,000 persons depending on the trailer industry in
north Chennai including owners, drivers, clerks, tinkers and mechanics would be
affected,” he explained.
Mr. Raja said they were demanding an increase in
hire charges and had provided enough notice to the ports and port users. “We
cannot run at a loss for a long time,” he added.
Meanwhile, CFS representatives are planning to
meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
“Ship handling not
Responding to the issue, official sources in
Chennai and Kamarajar ports said that though container truck movement had been
affected, other cargo movements like dry bulk and liquid cargo were continuing.
The internal operations of the ports were going on and ship handling had not
been affected. Only the container handling operations have been affected.