Port Wings News Network:
After more than three years since the last direct link, a rake carrying 32 export containers of sunflower seeds from Ocean Network Express (ONE) and 2 containers of PVC board from APL on 8 May 2020 travelled from Container Corporation of India’s (CONCOR) Hyderabad ICD to PSA Chennai’s on-dock railhead. The containers were bound for export on ONE vessel “Xin Pu Dong”, on the TE1 service with a final destination of Manila
To support exporters in the Hyderabad area with empty containers for loading, a rake of 90 empty containers also belonging to ONE departed PSA Mumbai’s railyard for CONCOR’s ICD at Hyderabad on 8 May 2020. The containers were first trucked to PSA Mumbai from nearby depots.
PSA Chennai and PSA Mumbai have seen an increase in rail shipments from Hyderabad after a 2019 trade meet held by PSA India in the city. In April 2020, PSA Chennai, PSA Kolkata and PSA Mumbai all hit record highs in terms of the percentage of cargoes arriving or departing via rail at 23.2%, 10.8% and 21.5% respectively.
Mr V. Kalyana Rama, Chairman and Managing Director of CONCOR, said, “All CONCOR Terminals functioned without any interruption during the lockdown period which not only helped EXIM trade but also movement of essential commodities across India. Extension gates at Chennai and Mumbai, a new concept, which started during this period with the support of Customs, Ports and Railways, not only kept ports fluid but also increased rail share. I congratulate and thank Customs authorities, JNPT and Chennai port authorities and Railways for all their support for making this new concept successful. One more good achievement is the starting of Hyderabad-Chennai service after a long gap of more than 3 years. This will help exporters and importers of Hyderabad region. I congratulate all the stakeholders for coming together and bringing the innovative solutions without which the logistics would not have been smooth and successful.”
Mr Mike Formoso, PSA India Managing Director, said, “Rail has played an essential role in ensuring freight continues to move nationwide, especially given the shortage of trucks and staff. By playing our part together with other stakeholders, we aim for higher levels of rail utilisation as the norm, not an exception, under these unprecedented circumstances. Beyond the very welcome concessions from Indian Railways, CONCOR and other container train operators, as well as new solutions such as Extension Gate, we hope for a major structural review in the pricing of rail container haulage, to encourage a more permanent modal shift.”
“All our terminals are operating normally, with added safety precautions in place to protect our staff and port users. Storage utilisation remains within limits: there are no delays in vessel berthing nor in handling of outside transport. Evacuation via truck to CFS and by rail is also taking place and we express our gratitude and appreciation to all our stakeholders, particularly Customs, Railways, the Port Trusts where we operate, CONCOR, CTOs, neighbouring CFSs and ICDs as we work closely alongside each other to keep trade moving,” added Mr Mike Formoso.