JNPT to shift imported cargo to Mumbai Port warehouses in economy drive

File photo of Jawaharlal Nehru Port
The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) will be shifting its imported cargo to Mumbai Port Trust warehouses from January to reduce the cost and time taken in transactions.

Currently, all of JNPT’s 4.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) cargo is transported via road to the warehouses of Bhiwandi, which is 59 kms from the port. From Bhiwandi warehouses, traders have to lift their cargo to designated areas of the city, in turn overlapping the route and increasing road congestion.  

“A disciplined movement of cargo is shaping up at JNPT and as part of this realignment, imported goods of about 0.4-0.5 million TEUs meant for Mumbai alone will be shifted to nearby Mumbai Port Trust warehouses via barges,” Neeraj Bansal, JNPT chairman-in-charge, told Business Standard. “This will not only decongest roads but also reduce transit time by half leading to transaction cost savings of about Rs 14,000-15,000 per container,” he added.

The transit time of cargo to and fro Bhiwandi currently takes over 48 hours.

For other imported cargo meant for the Maharashtra hinterland, JNPT will be making use of dry ports being planned in the central part of the state to facilitate faster and smoother movement of goods. For export-oriented cargo, the Ministry of Shipping has identified 2,000 acres near JNPT where goods from within Maharashtra and other states will be collected and taken to JNPT to be exported.

“We are still working out cost and time-saving calculations for these realignments but are confident it will create value for both parameters,” Bansal said. “The export-oriented cargo hub will be multi-modal in nature with the location identified at Mira Road-Bhayander."

The Mumbai Port is willing to start its service for JNPT cargo as it opens up two new revenue streams for it.

“The wharf readily available for loading-unloading of vessels along with closed warehouses, which are partly vacant can be used by JNPT,” said Yashodhan Wanage, deputy chairman at Mumbai Port. 

“This will bring us (Mumbai Port) two new streams of revenue with wharf usage charges being much lower than road transportation cost for JNPT. This will be a win-win situation for both Mumbai Port as well as JNPT,” Wanage added.

With the realignment of cargo movement at JNPT, the port is set to hit another level of ease of doing business. Recently, the direct-port-delivery (DPD) system, which featured in the World Bank ease of doing business report that put India 30 notches higher, was initiated at JNPT and Chennai ports where container congestion has been the highest. Today, about 40 per cent of JNPT’s cargo is moved via the DPD system leading to sizeable transaction cost savings as usage of CFS (container freight stations) is completely eliminated in this process.

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