The Cru­cial Con­nect!

A com­pre­hen­sive re­port on the strength­en­ing of Chen­nai Port's rail link to the con­tainer ter­mi­nals and its ben­e­fits

Apparel - - Front page -

Chen­nai Port is strength­en­ing its rail link to the con­tainer ter­mi­nals. This is likely to en­sure faster move­ment of the ex­port con­tain­ers for load­ing and evac­u­a­tion of im­port con­tain­ers from the port.

Partha Pra­tim Ba­sistha re­ports. There were re­ports in re­cent past of Exim con­tain­ers pil­ing up at Chen­nai Port. The pil­ing up re­sulted in ves­sel lines im­pos­ing de­mur­rage charges on the ex­porters. There has been a re­cur­rence of such in­ci­dents. The pri­mary rea­son for pil­ing up of the con­tain­ers is at­trib­uted due to tardy evac­u­a­tion of the con­tain­ers from the port’s two con­tainer ter­mi­nals be­ing op­er­ated by pri­vate op­er­a­tors. To pre­vent a re­cur­rence of the in­ci­dent, Chen­nai Port is plan­ning to up­grade the rail link con­nect­ing the port and the con­tainer ter­mi­nals. The new rail link will con­nect the main­line link of South­ern Rail­ways.

Ac­cord­ing to top Chen­nai Port of­fi­cials, the rail­ways will lay two more lines ad­ja­cent to the ex­ist­ing track con­nect­ing the port. Land has al­ready been pro­vided to the South­ern Rail­ways and work is likely to com­mence soon. Both the ter­mi­nals will ben­e­fit from the new link as it will fa­cil­i­tate move­ment of ex­port con­tain­ers in en­hanced vol­umes from var­i­ous cargo clus­ters us­ing the port for cargo ship­ment. The most im­por­tant ben­e­fi­ciary will be White­field In­land Con­tainer De­pot of Ben­galuru. Chen­nai ap­parel ex­porters will also gain from the up­com­ing link, as it will en­sure faster evac­u­a­tion of im­port con­tain­ers.

Chen­nai Port has two con­tainer ter­mi­nals. The first one is op­er­ated by Chen­nai Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal Pri­vate limited (CCTPL), a fully owned sub­sidiary of Dubai Ports World and the sec­ond one is Chen­nai In­ter­na­tional Ter­mi­nal Pri­vate Limited (CITPL), owned by the Port Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore. The CCTPL ter­mi­nal has a 885 me­tre long con­tainer berth, while 820 me­tres is the berth size of the CITPL op­er­ated ter­mi­nal. CITPL has a rail head sid­ing ad­ja­cent to the berth. The new link will ben­e­fit both the ter­mi­nals.

The new rail link is es­sen­tial for the Chen­nai Ap­parel Clus­ter for mov­ing the Exim con­tain­ers through the port. This is more so owing to the im­por­tance of the ap­parel clus­ter which is pre­dom­i­nantly an ex­port cen­tric one. Chen­nai clus­ter con­trib­utes above R2500 crores as the an­nual turnover to the In­dian gar­ment in­dus­try. Nearly 100 ex­porters man­age to turn in above

R2000 crores of business per year, ac­count­ing to 80 per cent of the clus­ter’s turnover.

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