Chennai Port eyes 25% rise in rail shipment of containers
CHENNAI: Aimed at stepping up its operational efficiency, the Chennai Port Trust plans to raise shipping of containers through the Railways by 25 per cent, a top official said recently. The Port Trust last year (2014-15) handled 1.50 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). As of December 31, 2015, it was 1.20 million TEUs.
"Currently, about seven per cent of shipment of containers are handled by the railways. We expect that to increase by 25 per cent," Chennai Port Trust Deputy Chairman Cyril V George said. He was speaking to reporters after flagging off the first batch of containers through trains operated by the Gurgaon-based Distribution Logistics Infrastructure (DLI). “We flagged off the first train service to Marigold CFS (container freight station), Bengaluru. There is a potential to ship 2.50 lakh containers a year," George said. Trains will be operated from Jawahar Dock on the port premises.
As part of handling containers, Chennai Port will set up a "full-fledged common railway yard". Distribution Logistics Infrastructure MD Karunakaran Sathianathan said the company will increase the present operation of two trains a week to four trains.
“Each train can carry about 70 TEUs against the capacity of 90 TEUs from Chennai to Bengaluru. On the return journey, it's 20 TEUs. We want to increase the capacity," he said.
To a query on Mission Resurge-Chennai Port, an initiative by the Chennai Port Trust, George said it's lagging on shipment of cargo due to congestion issues. "We have introduced several measures to reduce congestion like operating 8-lane modern gate complex at Gate-1, deployed staff to monitor container trailer traffic, widening and laning of roads inside the port," he said. The port will also introduce Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) based gate access system for container trailers by January 31.