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Home News Container trailer owners in Chennai lift four-day strike, but cargo delays persist

Container trailer owners in Chennai lift four-day strike, but cargo delays persist

Shippers and freight forwarders in India’s Chennai region can breathe a collective sigh of relief as container trailers have called off their stoppage action that lasted nearly four days.

The strike was lifted after reaching a new deal on hire charges at a meeting between trailer owners and other stakeholders on Thursday (7 July) evening.

According to available information, container freight station (CFS) operators agreed to implement a 25% rise in trailer hire rates, compared to an 80% increase demanded by the vehicle owner association.

The region includes terminals at the ports of Chennai, Ennore and Kattupalli.

While trailers have resumed cargo movement, industry sources say the clearance of accumulated containers could be a daunting task for CFS workers. “It would take some days for the restoration of normal cargo flow,” sources said.

In addition, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) also face the risk of additional storage charges being levied on boxes that have overstayed at CFS locations.

At the same time, carriers operating to and from the region noted that they would be able to restore normalcy in yard inventory levels in a few days. "The backlog is not a cause for alarm and we are working with our customers very closely," a shipping line agent told Container News.

CFS owners had earlier resisted any upward revision in trailer hire charges, citing lower charges at other ports in the country.

The trailer association, on the other hand, had voiced concerns over escalating operating costs because of soaring fuel prices and other inflationary factors.

The disruption came as port stakeholders in the region were making all-out efforts to woo more mainline calls, taking advantage of the crisis plaguing Sri Lanka's Colombo Port.  Colombo handles the bulk of Indian east coast cargo as a key transhipment gateway in South Asia.

Jenny Daniel
India correspondent

Contact email: [email protected]

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