Indian west coast ports reopen after cyclone-induced shutdown

Indian west coast ports reopen after cyclone-induced shutdown

Container terminals across India’s Gujarat coast have resumed operations at full scale after Cyclone Biparjoy forced a total shipping halt over the past week.

Sources say Mundra and Pipavav, two major cargo gateways, are slowly getting back to their scheduled vessel flows.

“Operations resumed and leaped to normalcy. Mundra berthed the first vessel at 1400 hrs. on Saturday (17 June) and loaded four container trains,” Adani Ports CEO Karan Adani said,

APM Terminals Pipavav returned to quay-side activity with the berthing of the container vessel ONE Matrix on Saturday, followed by the docking of the SCI Chennai, the company said in a trade notice.

India’s containerised trade has been under a major strain because of extreme weather events on the western coastline since the end of May, causing heavy cargo backlogs and vessel skips.

“We foresee the ripple effect of these closures to persist for a considerable period as the industry prepares to near the peak shipping season soon,” said equipment marketplace and operating platform Container xChange in a report.

The platform added, “In the long term, the industry should expect the need for recovery measures to address congestion, optimise container flows, and restore the overall stability of container shipping operations. The combination of suspended port and rail operations and potential disruptions in the container supply chain will likely lead to congestion and delays in container movements.”

It further noted, “Container availability is expected to be adversely affected, exacerbating the strain on already stretched global container supply chains. As a result, the industry should anticipate an increase in further ocean shipping disruptions, and delays in cargo delivery.”

Container xChange went on to explain, “During this period, effective contingency planning becomes crucial. The industry needs to prepare for flexible routing options to mitigate disruptions in container movements.”

Meanwhile, Nhava Sheva Port (JNPA) set a new milestone last week with a visit from the MSC Hamburg, the largest container vessel ever to have docked at any Indian port. PSA Mumbai (BMCT) hosted the record-breaking call on Saturday.

The 2015-built MSC Hamburg is 399 meters long and has a nominal carrying capacity of 16,652 TEUs.

“As a vital gateway for international shipments, JNPA plays a crucial role in strengthening global supply chains, and the arrival of MSC Hamburg further enhances the port’s capabilities in meeting the growing demands of trade,” the port authority said in a statement.

JNPT chairman Sanjay Sethi highlighted, “This remarkable achievement symbolises the strength of our maritime capabilities and available infrastructure to facilitate seamless trade and commerce.”

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