KOCHI: Irked by the slow pace of cargo handling at the International Container Transshipment Terminal, here, the Cochin Steamer Agents Association (CSAA) has approached the Port Trust authorities seeking a solution to the issue.
The body alleged that its business has affected since May 1. It is reliably learnt that the agents have raised the issue at the recent board meeting of the Port.
Though there were many issues plaguing the terminal, it is the first time the steamer agents have expressed concern over its operations.
In a letter to the Port Trust chairman, the agents pointed out that the ICTT had not achieved the TAMP (Tariff Authority for Major Ports ) approved productivity level of 25 moves per hour per crane since May 1. “This has resulted in vessels staying at the terminal with increased berth hire and charter hire along with yet another added cost of pilot cancellation and detention charges and above all missing of committed main haul vessel connection and thereby delayed delivery at the destination,” the letter stated.
The steamer agents have also cited examples for the slow handling of cargo at ICTT.
The Cochin-Colombo-Cochin feeder vessels and the Shreyas-Relay Shipping’s Coastal vessels faced a delay for around 24 hours.
In yet another incident the CMA-HLL main haul vessel and Simatech’s Cochin - Jebel Ali feeders faced almost additional eight hours’ port stay due to labour issue.
Moreover, they urged the port management to recommend Dubai Port World, the operator of ICTT, to offer certain rebates to the vessel operators in case of delay.
It has been demanded to ensure that the minimum level of productivity will be 25 moves per hour per crane for handling normal containers by gantry crane. Another demand is exemption of terminal rent in case of extended port stay.
The agents also demand that reefer plugging above the scheduled 24 hours after load vessel berthing should not be charged.
Another suggestion is setting up of a panel to address labour issues (both port and private labour) through mutual discussions.
However, senior DP World officials denied any such issue at the terminal. “We update Port chairman daily and are maintaining an average move of 18-22 per hour per crane. There are no vessels in pending now,” they said.