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Carriers face cargo backlog pressure at India’s Mundra Port, after resuming from cyclone chaos

Container carriers serving Indian trades are facing berthing schedule disruptions and landside congestion problems at Mundra Port, India's busiest box gateway, as a consequence of large cargo volumes backlogged during the Cyclone Biparjoy-related shutdown a week ago.

According to local industry sources, vessels are missing windows, leading to abrupt port call omissions. With service reliability challenges, carriers have warned shippers to expect delays to their export/import freight already in transit and planned for loading.

Carriers have also tightened empty container pickup windows for customers because of yard congestion issues.

“With recent situation in Mundra towards equipment availability, we would request our customers to arrange transportation and pick up empties from the yard within 12 hours of allotment,” Maersk said in a customer advisory.

The Danish carrier also noted, “In case containers are not picked within this period, allotments might be cancelled by our operations.”

Adding to the list of sailing disruptions, Maersk today announced that the vessel Maersk Pelepas (325S) will be omitting Mundra and Pipavav on its current voyage into India due to “operational constraints.”

Containers planned on this vessel will be rolled over to the next connection from Mundra/Pipavav, it said.

“The upcoming MIDAS 2 (vessel) FAYSTON FARMS (0MTF5W1MA) will be omitting Nhava Sheva call due to the cyclone effect,” CMA CGM Agencies (India) said in a trade notice. “As a result of same, the vessel is also delayed calling Mundra.”

Indian west coast ports reopen after cyclone-induced shutdown

Container train movements in/out of Mundra are also struggling due to turnaround slowdowns.

To that end, the Kandla-Mundra Container Transport Welfare Association has raised concerns over gate-in delays for exports and congestion affecting import clearance and equipment availability.

“These problems have led to a significant backlog of container movement at the port and CFS (container freight station),” the association said in a trade notice.

The trade body added, “We are making effort to resolve these issues at the earlier.  However, until operations are streamlined, delays in movement and cancellations may continue to occur.”

It went on to explain, “We expect the situation to normalise within the next seven to eight days, as we work diligently to address the existing challenges and restore regular operations.”

Additionally, local railway authorities have imposed restrictions on train operations to Mundra for a day on 22 June, reportedly for some track repairs.

Mundra had already been seeing cargo spillovers from Nhava Sheva (JNPT) after the latter decommissioned a berth for equipment upgrades.

Cyclone Biparjoy had forced all ports on India’s Gujarat coastline, including Pipavav and Hazira, to shut operations for nearly a week, dealing a heavy blow to the country’s containerised supply chains.

Jenny Daniel
Global Correspondent

Contact email: [email protected]

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