Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) is increasingly curtailing Indian ports of call as it struggles to maintain a weekly sailing frequency on major trade routes.
As a result, MSC’s key services from India to the US and Europe are now often sailing straight into Mundra Port by omitting the first JNPT/Nhava Sheva port call. Mundra is located approximately 300 nautical miles from Nhava Sheva.
At Mundra, the carrier enjoys 'own terminal advantages,' thus enabling it to turn around vessels quicker. The Adani International Container Terminal (AICTPL), the largest container handler in Mundra, is a strategic investment partnership between port owner Adani Group and MSC.
After the MSC Altair – one of the vessels deployed on the INDUSA Service – skipping Nhava Sheva in Week 11 and instead was to have arrived directly in Mundra on 15 March, MSC has issued a new advisory announcing yet another Nhava Sheva omission on the same service.
“Wish to advise you that in view of the ongoing capacity alignments, MSC Rosa M on the Himalaya Services, will now phase-in to the INDUSA service, and will continue her port call rotation on the INDUSA service. However, in view of severe delays faced at the previous ports of call, and to enable maintain the schedule integrity, MSC Rosa M, voyage IV211A, will be forced to skip the Nhava Sheva call, and will proceed to call Mundra,” the carrier said in its notice to customers.
The said vessel’s declared ETA [estimated time of arrival] for Mundra is 1 April.
MSC’s India-Europe IPAK Service is also seeing schedule disruptions at Nhava Sheva. In Week 11, the IPAK had no sailing out of India. Further, the service has reshuffled its berthing window arrangements at Nhava Sheva for the current week voyage.
“The IPAK Vessel MSC Sasha, voyage IP213R, will be berthing at NSIGT instead of NSICT,” MSC said.
With ongoing schedule disruptions, Indian exporters have a harder time shipping goods out of the country, according to industry sources.
“Shipments that would typically take a 2–4-week window from booking to sailing are being pushed to a 6–8-week timeline,” Sanjay Bhatia, co-founder of online freight broker Freightwalla, told Container News. “This delay has significantly impacted Indian MSMEs [micro small-to-medium enterprises], which comprise over 45% of India's total exports, increasing the demand-supply gap and straining their revenue inflow.”
Bhatia added that the European and North American trade lanes remain severely strained, disrupting the global trade dynamics.