Category Archives: Chennai Port

Chennai Port to outsource entry passes issuing work


Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly


Sagar Sandesh News Bureau:

With a view to enhancing the quality of service and also making the port premises a highly secured place, Chennai Port is planning to outsource the work of issuing entry passes soon.

According to a top official in Chennai Port Trust, the move would substantially improve the security of the port, besides ensuring better service for pass-seekers round-the-clock.

For complying with the ISPS Code and also to check and monitor entry of persons and vehicles inside the port premise, Chennai Port started issuing computerized entry passes since early 1990s and it is being done in three different places to ensure quick service.

Though these passes are being issued for the past several years, the port does not have a documented data of its visitors, which would help the port monitor pattern of movement throughout the year.

As per the latest estimates, the port issues about 4,000 passes everyday to different vehicles.

“By outsourcing the pass-related work to a private player, who will be responsible for issuing as well as documenting all the needed details of persons and vehicles entering the harbor round-the-clock, the port is attempting to give its users a new experience,” a senior ChPT official told Sagar Sandesh.

Besides, the electronically gathered information about the visitors and vehicles would come as a handy tool for the port management in situations where a person or a vehicle did something wrong inside the port premises, the official said.

Moreover, such data would help us analyze the pattern of movement inside the port at any given point of time, and it will also help the port to curb entry of erring vehicles and persons easily,” the top official added.

Meanwhile, a group of port trust staff, who were working in the concerned section, asked the port management to reconsider the decision of outsourcing. They claimed that it would lead to revenue loss for the port trust.

However, port officials maintained that the proposed outsourcing would not only bring in the much needed efficiency in satisfying the pass-seekers, but it will also plug security holes by enabling electronic documentation.

It may be noted here that Mormugao Port Trust, Goa, outsourced the pass-related works some two years ago and it has been proved there as a best system for continuous monitoring.

Trailer tariff for Chennai Port to go up by 30 %

Published in Sagar Sandesh English Maritime Weekly Tabloid recently

The hire charges for container trailers operating between Chennai Port and the 30-odd Container freight Stations (CFSs) on the City outskirts is all set to be increased by 30 per cent, a representative of major trailer association has said.

Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, Mr. S. R. Raja, Secretary of Trailer Owner’s Association (TOA), one of the prominent associations (serving for Chennai Port) having a fleet strength of more than 3,000 trailers, said: “In the backdrop of steep rise in fuel and other maintenance cost for trailer lorries, we are forced to announce the 30 per cent hike in hire charges for all vehicles.”

“We have already sent a detailed memorandum to different stakeholders including National Association of Container Freight Stations (NACFS) and Chennai Custom House Agents Association (CCHAA) explaining the proposed hike in hire charges and expecting their reply,” he stated.

TOA, located at Royapuram, Chennai, is one of the prominent trailer operator associations extending regular connectivity for Chennai Port.

According to EXIM sources, the prevailing rate per trip, either ferrying out an import (20-ft) container from Chennai Port premises to a CFS or moving in an export container from CFS to Chennai Port, is worked out to be around Rs. 3, 500.

It may be noted here that Chennai Port fully relies on these container trailers for import and export box  movements, as evacuation via rail route is relatively miniscule. On a given day, more than 3,000 trailers move in and out of Chennai Port ferrying both imported and export containers.

However, drop in container volume through Chennai Port and sudden increase in fuel and tyre cost have forced the association to revise its charges to stay on the profit side.

With the tariff hike for trailers seemed to be the only way out for them, TOA’s executive committee members met recently in Chennai and unanimously accepted the proposal put forward by the association’s important members.

“As per our estimates, movement of export containers via Chennai has dropped by 30 per cent and import has  suffered a massive 40 per cent drop in the recent months. Though we have lost a considerable business due to this double attack, increase in operating cost has forced us to go for a nominal hike to keep our business in safe zone,” Mr. Raja said.

We have sought support for the tariff hike from the NACFS and CCHAA and it will be implemented very soon,” he pointed out. 

SHIPPING CONFIDENCE SURVEY: Shipping Limping Back to Normalcy

Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly
The overall confidence levels in the shipping industry increased in the three months ended May 2012, to reach their highest level since February 2011, the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from shipping accountant Moore Stephens has revealed.
This is the fourth successive quarter in which there has been an improvement in confidence, leading to an increased expectation of new investment on the part of respondents, despite an anticipated increase in the cost of finance over the next twelve months, the survey further revealed.
Confidence levels:
In May 2012, the average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.7 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high), compared to the figure of 5.5 recorded in the previous survey in February 2012, and to the 5.6 recorded one year previously, in May 2011. The survey was launched in May 2008 with a confidence rating of 6.8 among different stakeholders in the shipping sector including ship owners and brokers across the globe.
The overall number of respondents expecting to make a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months rose, on a scale of 1 to 10, from 4.9 to 5.3, the highest figure since the 5.6 recorded in May 2011.
Demand trends, competition and finance costs have consistently featured as the top three factors cited by respondents overall as those likely to influence performance most significantly over the coming 12 months. That was the situation again this time, although the numbers in each category were down, in the case of demand trends from 22 percent to 21 percent, competition (down from 20 percent to 18 percent) and finance costs (down one percentage point to 16 percent).
There was a two percentage point increase (from 49 percent to 51 percent) in the number of respondents overall who expected finance costs to increase over the next 12 months.
Freight markets:
The survey revealed an increased level of expectation of higher rates in the tanker sector than was the case three months previously. Overall, 40 percent of respondents thought that rates would increase, as opposed to 35 percent last time.
It was a similar story in the container ship market, where 34 percent of respondents overall expected rates to go up, compared to 31 percent in the previous survey.
It was a different story in the dry bulk sector, however, where most of the indicators were down, in contrast to the previous survey, which saw a surge of optimism on the part of all respondents that rates would increase. Overall, 35 percent of respondents this time expected dry bulk rates to go up over the coming year, as against 38 percent in February 2012.
Average Confidence Levels:
In May 2012, the average confidence level expressed by respondents was 5.7, compared to the figure of 5.5 recorded in the previous survey in February 2012, and to the 5.6 recorded one year previously, in May 2011.
The biggest increase in confidence was recorded by ship managers, up from 5.2 to 6.0 this time, the highest figure for this category of respondent since February 2011. Confidence among owners and charterers remained unchanged this time, at 5.6 and 5.0 respectively. Brokers (down from 5.6 to 5.2) were alone among all respondents in being less confident about the market than they were in February
Confidence was up in Europe for the fourth successive quarter, from 5.3 to 5.6, stable in Asia at 5.7, and down in North America from 5.6 to 5.5.
A number of respondents were upbeat about prospects for the market, despite admitting that any recovery would have to start from a comparatively low base.
According to one respondent, “Ninety per cent of world trade is transported by sea, so shipowners can find employment for their vessels, one way or another. Although we are at the bottom of the cycle, and freight rates are not encouraging, good operators have every chance of surviving. We expect to see a correction in the imbalance between supply and demand by the end of 2013.”
Investment and development:
The overall number of respondents expecting to make a major investment or significant development rose from 4.9 to 5.3, the highest figure since the 5.6 recorded in May 2011.
All categories of respondent were more confident in this regard than in the previous survey, most notably charterers, whose expectation rating in respect of major investments was up from 4.9 to 5.8. The rating for owners was up from 5.2 to 5.6, and for managers from 5.2 to 5.5.
 45 percent of charterers, and 40 percent of both owners and managers, assessed the likelihood of their making an investment at 7.0 out of 10.0 or higher.
Geographical expectation:
Geographically, expectation levels of major investments were up in all areas covered by the survey, with the exception of North America (down from 5.0 to 4.5).
The biggest increase was in Europe (up from 4.8 to 5.3), while in Asia the figure went from 5.0 to 5.2. Latin America also saw an increase, from 5.2 to 5.7.
Demand trends, competition and finance costs have consistently featured as the top three factors cited by respondents overall as those likely to influence performance most significantly over the coming 12 months.
Demand trends remained the number one performance-affecting factor for owners, unchanged at 21 percent. Finance costs (unchanged at 18 percent) were in second place, followed by competition, down one percentage point to 16%. For managers, meanwhile, competition and demand trends (both down one percentage point this time to 18 percent) occupied the top two places, with finance costs up one percentage point to 17 percent in third place.
Geographically, demand trends remained the most significant factor for respondents in Asia (up from 22 percent to 24 percent) and in Europe (down from 22 percent to 21 percent). In Asia, fuel costs (16 percent) supplanted finance costs in third place, behind competition (down from 21 percent to 18 percent) in second position. Fuel costs were also a significant factor in North America, where they were cited by 18 percent of respondents. In Europe, finance costs featured in second place, ahead of competition, unchanged at 18 percent.
Tanker rates:
There was generally good news about the prospects for higher tanker and container ship rates over the coming year, even though one respondent – without specifying any particular sector – complained, “Brokers are not fighting for the best rates. They need to fix so many vessels per day that they no longer care about the levels at which they fix, and owners are suffering.”
The survey revealed an increased level of expectation of higher rates in the tanker sector than was the case three months previously. Overall, 40 percent of respondents thought that rates would increase, as opposed to 35 percent last time.
There was a two percentage point increase (from 49% to 51%) in the number of respondents overall who expected finance costs to increase over the next twelve months. The number of respondents who thought that finance costs would decrease over the coming year remained unchanged, meanwhile, at 8%.
Terming the shipping industry as most resilient, the survey revealed that despite the financial woes in Europe, notwithstanding the slump in the freight markets, and irrespective of tonnage overcapacity, it recorded an increase in confidence in the shipping sector for the fourth consecutive quarter.
Indeed, 40 percent of owners rate their prospects of making a new investment over the next 12 months at 7 out of 10, or higher – this despite the fact that the cost of finance is expected to go up over the same period.

Chennai Port Trust aid for dependents of deceased staff

Published in Sagar Sandesh Maritime Weekly on July 11, 2012


Showing its human face to the dependents of those deceased employees, the Chennai Port Trust on June 29 announced that financial assistance would be provided them to lead a decent life.

Addressing the media during the equity share (in a form of cheque)handing over ceremony to the officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for Chennai Port Connectivity Project at the Chennai Port Trust premises, Union Shipping Minister G K Vasan announced that his Ministry has recently gave its accent to the proposal by the port to distribute financial assistance to the dependents of deceased port employees.

Mr Vasan said “Though there is no rule in the Shipping Ministry that stipulates compulsory financial assistance to the dependents, the Chennai Port Trust, by taking the extra effort, is clearly demonstrating that it understands the agony of those families, who had lost their breadwinners while serving the port.

Flanked by Shipping Secretary Mr P K Sinha and Chennai Port Trust chairman Mr Atulya Misra, The Minister also stated that the compassionate appointment to the dependents of the employees who died while in service was taking a very long waiting period. Hence, Chennai Port Trust would provide an amount of Rs.1.25 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs as financial assistance depending on the number of years they are waiting for.

This novel scheme was announced first in Vizag Port Trust. On the same line, this scheme has been approved for Chennai Port. So far, 663 out of 868 dependants have submitted their required particulars and after scrutiny, they will be provided financial assistance during July, Minister Vasan said.

Though the Port has lost its steady revenue source due to ban on coal and iron ore handling, it would spend nearly Rs 35 crore for the scheme, which was aimed at giving a helping hand to the dependent families of the deceased port employees.


During the ceremony, the Minister Vasan handed over a Cheque for Rs. 50.50 crores (Rs. 43 Crores of Chennai Port Trust and Rs. 7.5 Crores of Ennore Port) towards Equity Share Contribution for Chennai Port Connectivity Project.

During the function, the Minister dwelt at length on the various development projects and initiatives taken up by Port Trust.

Both Chennai and Ennore Ports are contributing a total amount of Rs.284.43 crores which is almost 50 percent of the project cost. So far, including the latest share contribution of Rs. 50.50 crores, a total amount of Rs.135 crores has already been paid by both the Ports and the remaining amount would be paid very shortly.

This road connectivity project is being implemented at a cost of Rs.600 crores and is expected to be completed by June 2013. Till now, around 32% of the work has been completed.

He also informed that land acquisition has been completed and for the rehabilitation of affected fishermen, necessary fishing stalls are being provided for their livelihood.

The Minister also stated that the Vessel Traffic Management Services (VTMS) Project of Chennai Port has already been awarded to Kongsberg Norcontrol, Norway at a cost of Rs.9.81 crores. This includes Operation and Maintenance for 5 years after 1 year warranty period. The work of installation of VTMS has already been completed.

Will Sinha’s port visit settle the dust raised by coal, iron ore?


There is a sense of renewed optimism among the thousands of employees of Chennai Port, as the Shipping Secretary P K Sinha made his maiden visit to the South India’s oldest port on May 4 to see its condition, especially its dwindling revenue sources.
The port’s steady revenue source due to handling of coal and iron ore has nosedived during the past seven months after the Madras High Court banned it, citing pollution problems.
In the backdrop, Sinha’s visit to the port gains more significance, as he is one of the members of the Empowered Committee of Secretaries constituted by the Supreme Court to look into the issue of handling dusty cargo by Chennai Port.


Speaking to reporters after a day-long visit to Chennai Port including its two privatized container terminals, Sinha said, “We have been given time till July 15 to submit our findings to the Supreme Court on handling coal and iron ore at Chennai Port/Ennore Port.”
This is our first meeting and we will have series of meetings over the next few weeks, which includes with general public also, Sinha told reporters.
Just not sticking to his official assignment of visiting the port as SC-appointed committee, Sinha made his intentions clear by visiting all important places inside the port, its two container terminals and port’s healthcare facilities for its employees.
Going a step ahead, the Shipping Secretary also extensively inspected the iron ore terminal and the coal stackyard inside the port premises and enquired about the pollution control measures followed by the port management.
After the spot visits, Sinha held an extensive discussion with the leaders of the seven recognized trade unions in the port. Speaking to Sagar Sandesh, R Santhanam, general secretary of the Port and Dock Labour Union, an affiliate of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), said, “The Shipping Secretary gave a patient hearing to our representations and asked the port trust chairman to consider the requests of a few unions for better working atmosphere.”
“Though the official visited Chennai as part of the Supreme Court-appointed committee, his long-day visit coupled with meetings with union leaders and other stake holders has clearly proved that he is a good administrator,” Santhanam added.
Besides these meetings, Sinha also visited the port gates, the main route for thousands of heavy vehicles to drop and pick-up cargo from port, to assess the movement of vehicles and availability of infrastructure for cargo evacuation.
Understanding the bottlenecks for container-laden trailers’ movement during his brief visit at the Zero Gate, the Shipping Secretary directed the Chennai Port authority to follow up the executing agencies and facilitate them for completion of the road connectivity projects within the stipulated timeframe.
Later, the Secretary reviewed the performance and developmental works at Chennai Port and Ennore Port in a joint meeting with the chairmen and senior officers of both ports. Making his observation clear for the sustained growth of the ports, Sinha called for mechanisation of the berths to improve efficiency and provide better service to the exim trade at competitive rates.
He also reviewed the performance of the Port Trust-run hospital and directed those in charge to improve the quality of service by partnering with reputed private medical institutions.

According to Mr Sinha, Empowered Committee of Secretaries constituted by the Supreme Court to look into the issue of handling dusty cargo by Chennai Port came with a clear mandate.
The Supreme Court, after hearing a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Chennai Port and its users on the Madras High Court order on dusty cargo, had in April constituted a committee comprising Secretary (Shipping), Secretary MoE&F, Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu; Principal Secretary, DoE&F, Government of Tamil Nadu and nominees of Central Pollution Control Board, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, NEERI and IIT Madras.
Their mandate was to assess the impact/extent of pollution due to handling of dusty coal and iron ore at Chennai Port, suggest measures to be adopted at the Port to control the pollution caused by the dusty cargo in question with reference to the techno-economic viability and assess the standard of facilities available at Ennore Port to handle dusty cargo.
The Committee held its first meeting on May 4 at the Tamil Nadu Secretariat. Apart from Sinha, who is heading the panel, the meeting was attended by Union Forest and Environment Secretary T. Chatterjee, Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi, representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and IIT-Madras.

Danish tycoon Arnold Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller dies


Arnold Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller, Denmark’s richest man and creator of the country’s largest enterprise, the shipping and oil conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, died Monday at the age of 98.

The shy Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller, who was listed on Forbes magazine’s annual billionaire’s list, turned two small shipping companies that his father had created into a global giant with 108,000 workers across 130 countries. The Moller-Maersk group owns the world’s biggest publicly held container shipping group, Maersk Sealand.

Chairman Michael Pram Rasmussen said the company had “lost a businessman of international scope and a man who … can take credit for the group being among the world’s leading (businesses) and Denmark’s undisputed largest business.”

Flags at the group’s Copenhagen headquarters were flown at half-mast. Buoyed by a rise in the wider stock market, shares in the company were up 3.2 percent to $7,487.

Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller stepped down as board chairman in 2003, at the age of 90. Five months earlier, the business titan merged the two companies that formed the nucleus of the A.P. Moeller group, creating the current A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S.

Although he withdrew from day-to-day management in 1993 when he appointed his deputy, Jess Soederberg, as chief executive officer, Mc-Kinney Moeller was continuously involved in the company’s management.

Soederberg left the company in 2007, reportedly after a disagreement with Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller, and was replaced by Nils Smedegaard Andersen, then CEO at Carlsberg.

In high spirits but visibly frail, Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller made his last public appearance Thursday at the group’s general assembly in Copenhagen.

Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller was a larger-than-life person in this Scandinavian country of 5.6 million. His personal fortune was estimated at $1.5 billion, while assets under his family’s control were worth an approximate $22 billion.

His death sparked reaction from the government and the royal palace. Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said Denmark had “lost an important businessman” while the royal family was “very moved” by the news, royal spokeswoman Lene Balleby said.

Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller, whose mother was American, was a staunch supporter of the United States.

During World War II, the group’s ships were engaged in allied service under British or U.S. flags. In addition, A.P. Moeller-owned Maersk Line Limited, based in Norfolk, Va., transported American troops and military equipment for the 1991 Gulf War and U.S.-led offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2000, Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller reportedly ordered the sale of the group’s 14 percent stake in Denmark’s Berlingske media group. The sale came after a series of articles a year earlier in the Berlingske daily claiming the group had been friendly toward Nazi Germany during World War II.

Mr. Mc-Kinney Moeller brushed off the reports but never explained the stake sale.

The magnate was a close friend of Denmark’s royal family and was often seen at private royal events. In a rare move, Queen Margrethe knighted him in 2000 with the Elephant Order, Denmark’s top order for royals and heads of states and only rarely given to commoners. Coincidentally, he died on Margrethe’s 72nd birthday.

Mc-Kinney Moeller was also known for his philanthropy. He sponsored a park near the royal palace, restored vintage ships and old buildings, and paid $440 million to construct Copenhagen’s waterfront opera house that opened in 2005.

This article appeared on page C – 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle

சுங்கத் துறையில் 40% பணியிடங்கள் காலி: வெளிநாட்டு வர்த்தகம் கடும் பாதிப்பு


 முகவை க. சிவகுமார் –

திருவொற்றியூர், ஏப். 8: சென்னை சுங்க இல்லத்தில் அதிகாரிகள், ஊழியர்கள் என 40 சதவீதம் அளவுக்கு பணியிடங்கள் காலியாக இருப்பதால் துறைமுக ஏற்றுமதி இறக்குமதி வர்த்தகம் அடியோடு பாதிக்கும் அபாயம் ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது.

துறைமுகத்துக்கு உள்ளே, வெளியே செல்லும் சரக்குகளை ஆய்வு செய்வதற்கு போதிய சுங்கத் துறை அதிகாரிகள் இல்லாததால் நீண்ட வரிசையில் சுமார் 20 கி.மீ. தூரத்துக்கு லாரிகள் காத்திருக்கும் அவல நிலை தொடர்கிறது.

6 வாயில்களுக்கு 2 சுங்க அதிகாரிகள்: துறைமுகத்தில் கையாளப்படும் ஏற்றுமதி, இறக்குமதி சரக்குகளை ஆய்வு செய்வது, சுங்கவரி விதிப்பது, வரி வசூலிக்கப்பட்ட பிறகு சரக்குகளை விடுவிப்பது உள்ளிட்ட பணிகளை மேற்கொள்ள முதன்மை ஆணையர் தலைமையில் சென்னை சுங்க இல்லம் செயல்பட்டு வருகிறது. சென்னைத் துறைமுகத்தில் இரண்டு சரக்குப் பெட்டக முனையங்கள் உள்ளன. இவற்றின் மூலம் ஆண்டுக்கு சுமார் 15 லட்சம் கன்டெய்னர்கள் கையாளப்படுகின்றன.

இவையனைத்தும் காசிமேடு அருகே உள்ள முதல் நுழைவு வாயில் வழியேதான் செல்ல வேண்டும். இங்கு ஏற்கெனவே 2 வாயில்கள்தான் இருந்தன. ஒரு ஷிப்டில் 2 அதிகாரிகள் பணியில் இருந்தனர். இப்போது 6 வாயில்கள் திறக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. ஆனாலும் அதே 2 அதிகாரிகள்தான் பணியில் ஈடுபடுத்தப்படுகின்றனர்.

மேலும் தொழில் பாதுகாப்புப் படை காவலர்கள், சுங்கத் துறை காவலர்களும் போதிய அளவில் இங்கு நியமிக்கப்படவில்லை. இதனால் 6 வாயில்களைத் திறந்தாலும் வரிசையில் நிற்கும் வாகனங்களின் எண்ணிக்கையைக் குறைக்க முடியவில்லை. 24 மணி நேரத்தில் சுமார் 4 ஆயிரம் கன்டெய்னர்களுக்கான ஆவணங்களைச் சரிபார்க்க வேண்டும். இதே நிலைதான் சரக்குப் பெட்டக முனையங்களிலும் உள்ளன. இறக்குமதி, ஏற்றுமதிக்கு தலா 3 வழிகள் உள்ளன. ஆனால், 2 அதிகாரிகள்தான் பணியில் உள்ளனர். இவர்களால் 24 மணி நேரத்தில் சுமார் 4 ஆயிரம் ஆவணங்களைச் சரிபார்ப்பது என்பது சாத்தியம் இல்லாதது. இதனால், நீண்ட வரிசையில் கன்டெய்னர்களை ஏற்றிய லாரிகள் உள்ளேயும், வெளியேயும் சுமார் 20 கி.மீ தூரத்துக்கு வரிசையில் காத்திருக்கின்றன.


 30 சரக்குப் பெட்டகங்களுக்கு 10 அதிகாரிகள்: சென்னையில் ஐந்தாண்டுகளுக்கு முன்புவரை 15 சரக்குப் பெட்டக நிலையங்கள்தான் இருந்தன. இப்போது இதன் எண்ணிக்கை இரு மடங்காகி உள்ள நிலையில் அதற்கேற்ற வகையில் அனைத்து நிலையிலும் கூடுதல் அதிகாரிகள், ஊழியர்கள் நியமிக்கப்படவில்லை. ஏற்கெனவே இருந்த அதிகாரிகளின் எண்ணிக்கையும் பணிஓய்வு, மாறுதல் போன்ற காரணங்கள் வெகுவாகக் குறைந்துவிட்டது.


இப்போது சுங்கத் துறையின் கட்டுப்பாட்டில் உள்ள 30 சரக்குப் பெட்டக நிலையங்கள் வழியாகத்தான் பெரும்பாலான கன்டெய்னர்கள் கையாளப்படுகின்றன. இதற்கேற்ற வகையில் கூடுதல் அதிகாரிகள் நியமிக்கப்படவில்லை. 10 நிலையங்களில் பணியில் உள்ள அதிகாரிகளை கொண்டே 30 நிலையங்களிலும் மேலாண்மை செய்யப்படுகிறது.

இதனால் ஏற்றுமதி, இறக்குமதி சோதனைக்காக நீண்ட நாள்கள் கிடங்குகளில் சரக்குகளை இருப்பு வைக்கும் அவல நிலை இருந்து வருகிறது. சுங்கத் துறையில் போதுமான அதிகாரிகள் பணியில் இல்லை என்பதே இதற்கு காரணமாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது.

காலி பணியிடங்களை உடனே நிரப்ப வேண்டும்: இது குறித்து தமிழ் சேம்பர் ஆப் காமர்ஸின் தலைவர் சோழநாச்சியார் கூறியது:

சென்னை சுங்க இல்லத்தில் சுமார் 40 சதவீதம் அளவுக்கு அதிகாரிகள், ஊழியர்கள் பணியிடங்கள் காலியாக உள்ளன. கண்காணிப்புப் பிரிவில் 175 அதிகாரிகள் பணியில் இருக்க வேண்டிய நிலையில் சுமார் 90 பணியிடங்கள் காலியாக உள்ளன. சென்னை, எண்ணூர் துறைமுகங்கள் மூலம் 8 கோடி டன் சரக்குகள் கையாளப்படுகின்றன. சென்னையில் மட்டும் ஆண்டுக்கு சுமார் ரூ.20 ஆயிரம் கோடிவரை சுங்க வருவாய் வசூலிக்கப்படுகிறது. இந் நிலையில் அதிகாரிகள், ஊழியர்கள் பற்றாக்குறையால் வெளிநாட்டு வர்த்தகம் கடுமையாகப் பாதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. கூடுதல் செலவினங்கள், வரிசையில் நாள்கணக்கில் காத்திருப்பது உள்ளிட்ட பல்வேறு சிரமங்கள் உள்ளன.

இப்போது பணியில் இருக்கும் அதிகாரிகளுக்கும் பணிச்சுமை அதிகமாக இருப்பதால் எதிர்பாராத தவறுகள் ஏற்படுகின்றன. எனவே உடனடியாக காலியாக உள்ள பணியிடங்களை நிரப்ப வேண்டும். கூடுதல் பணியிடங்களையும் ஏற்படுத்த வேண்டும். இதில் தாமதம் ஏற்பட்டால் ஏற்றுமதி இறக்குமதி வர்த்தகம் கடுமையாகப் பாதிக்கப்படும் என்பது உண்மை. இது குறித்து மத்திய ஆயத்தீர்வை மற்றும் சுங்கத்துறை வாரியத்துக்கு பல முறை கோரிக்கை கடிதம் அனுப்பி உள்ளோம் என்றார் சோழநாச்சியார்.


 நாடு தழுவிய பிரச்னை: வாரியத் தலைவர்

சென்னைத் துறைமுகத்தில் சுங்கத் துறை அதிகாரிகள் பற்றாக்குறை குறித்து சென்னை வந்திருந்த மத்திய ஆயத்தீர்வை மற்றும் சுங்கவரி வாரியத்தின் தலைவர் எஸ்.கே. கோயல் செய்தியாளர்களிடம் கூறியது:

சுங்கத் துறையில் ஏராளமான பணியிடங்கள் காலியாக இருப்பது உண்மைதான். சென்னையில் மட்டுமல்ல. நாடு முழுவதும் இப்பிரச்னை உள்ளது. இது குறித்து நிதி அமைச்சகத்துக்கு 33 சதவீதம் பணியிடங்களை நிரப்பக் கோரி பரிந்துரை செய்துள்ளோம். இதற்கு மத்திய அமைச்சரவை ஒப்புதல் அளித்த பிறகு பணியாளர் தேர்வு வாரியம் மூலம் இப் பணியிடங்கள் நிரப்ப வேண்டும் என்பதுதான் நடைமுறை. இதற்கு சற்று காலதாமதம் ஏற்படும் என்றாலும் வாரியத்துக்கு வேறு வழியில்லை என்பதே யதார்த்தம் என்றார்.

CHENNAI PORT: Trail of trucks as port’s Zero Gate crippled

By G Saravanan

Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 30, 2012:


CHENNAI: Lack of manpower at Zero Gate of the Chennai Port, coupled with occasional flash strikes by trailer drivers, has hampered the smooth movement of containers in and out of the port for about a week now. 

The situation has worsened in the past few days due to a flash strike by drivers of trailer lorries following an altercation with a security official posted at the gate. Besides, fewer Customs officials posted to Zero Gate have also led to slowed down movement of containers from the port’s two container terminals.

According to Chennai Port Trust sources, movement of containers has recorded a sharp decline. However, prominent trailer owners’ associations have clarified to Express that they did not call for any trailers’ strike and it was the act of some drivers, possibly affected by the latest security measures at the gate. 

While 3,188 containers (20-foot equivalents), a mixture of export and import boxes, were moved on Tuesday till Wednesday morning, the figure came down sharply to just 1,769 containers the next day. 

Though the flash strike was withdrawn by Thursday afternoon, normalcy is yet to return as container trailers were seen stranded up to Manali on one stretch and also at Madhavaram.

Though the Zero Gate has six leaves—four for export and two for import containers, and ought to have six Customs officials to check movement, only two officials are posted at the gate by the Customs now.

“Due to less number of Customs officials at the gate, we are forced to halt our trailers in a queue and wait to get clearance. Had the Customs posted more officials here, it would certainly speed up the process,” rued a driver. Despite repeated attempts, the Custom’s commissioner was not available for comment.

CHENNAI: ‘EMRIP Port connectivity project on track’

Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 12, 2012:


CHENNAI: Stating that the TN government also wishes the speedy implementation of the much-delayed Rs 600-crore EMRIP project connecting Chennai with Ennore Port, Speaker D Jayakumar on Saturday said that the project is on the right track due to regular reviews.

Addressing the delegates after inaugurating the golden jubilee celebration of Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India (FFFAI is the apex body of all Custom House Agents Associations in India), Jayakumar said, “I have a special interest in the project as Chennai Port falls in my constituency and congestion due to trailers would be eased once the project is implemented.”

Disclosing the mantra for keeping the road project on the right track, Jayakumar said, “Since the project is paramount to link Chennai and Ennore ports, we have frequent review meetings of all stakeholders including the Chennai Port Trust, TNSCB, TANGEDCO, Metrowater, NHAI and district administrations. The last one was held on Wednesday.” He also announced that the next review meeting of EMRIP project would be held on March 14, as there are some hurdles still to be sorted out.

Jayakumar also said that the 1.6 km roadwork, starting from the port’s Zero Gate up to the Kasimedu Fishing Harbour, has been progressing well.

Of the total length, about 600 metres work has been completed till now and authorities are in a position to complete the remaining work very soon, added Jayakumar.

Besides others, Shantanu Bhadkamkar, chairman of FFFAI and A V Vijayakumar, president of Chennai Custom House Agents’ Association (CCHAA) spoke.

Suspected killer ship sails into Chennai waters

By G Saravanan

Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on March 6, 2012:


CHENNAI: Acting on the order of the Directorate General of Shipping (DG), M V Prabhu Daya, the ship  suspected to be involved in a fatal collision near Kerala coast a few days ago, reached the outer anchorage of Chennai Port on Monday evening. According to Chennai Port Trust sources, the vessel that has been allowed to berth at Bharathi Dock,   reached the outer perimeter of the Chennai Port late in the evening and was expected to berth in the early  hours of Tuesday.

Once the suspected ship is docked, it will be subjected to a detailed probe by different agencies, including the five-member team of Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) to ascertain the truth behind the fatal mid-sea mishap.

“Our officials (including one from Kerala) would board the ship on Tuesday morning to conduct the necessary enquiry as mandated by the Directorate General of Shipping,” a senior MMD official told Express. According to sources, the other teams that would be boarding the vessel along with the MMD’s surveyors are likely to conduct a series of inquiries with the crew members of the ship.

Besides, the probe team would also collect information about the movement of vessel and its journey-history through its voyage data recorder (VDR) during the time of the mishap, near the Kerala coast.

Though the ship was expected at Chennai Port by Sunday evening, its arrival was delayed as one of its crew members went missing in Sri Lankan waters and was eventually rescued by the local fishermen on Sunday.

After inspecting the vessel, the probe teams are likely to submit a comprehensive report with the DG Shipping, who will take a final call on whether the ship was indeed involved in the fatal collision off the Kerala coast.