Shippers at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust are preparing for another service levy as India’s biggest container handler rolls out more ease of doing business initiatives.
JNPT last week issued a public notice seeking to collect a “container tracking fee” for all cargo gated in and out of terminals in the public harbor. The new levy, which is Rs. 125 (about $1.9) per container, will take effect July 11.
The charge is meant to defray the costs involved in operating a logistics data bank that is designed to monitor the movement of containers passing through JNPT.
The logistics data bank “provides the service of tracking containers on near real-time basis using radio-frequency identification or RFID, technology, while the containers are being transported through rail and trucks on major highways, through its portal,” the port said in a notice to customers and the trade.
At the recent maritime investor conference in Mumbai, authorities concluded an agreement to set up a Rs. 128 crore joint venture with Japan’s NEC Corporation for establishing the data center.
Plans for a container tracking system stemmed from a study that the movement of containerized freight via west coast major ports could accelerate dramatically with completion of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor or DMIC, an Indo-Japan partnership initiative.
The $90 billion industrial project is supplementary to Indian Railways’ Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, an intermodal transport route linking Dadri, a major hinterland point near Delhi with Jawaharlal Nehru terminals. DMIC calls for the construction of two greenfield ports in Gujarat and one in Maharashtra, both on the west coast; rail and highway connectivity to ports; logistics parks and other supporting infrastructure like new power facilities.
“All the stakeholders involved in cargo movements have their own standalone information systems to manage their operations. Since these systems are not integrated with each other they do not exchange information on real time basis and it is difficult to keep a track on the movement of containers across the ports to the ICDs and the end users,” JNPT said in a previous announcement.
The new data levy follows on the heels of JNPT slapping shippers with a Rs. 240 per-TEU road toll fee on truck cargo moving to and from all of its terminals.
JNPT handles roughly 60 percent of the containerized freight passing through India’s 12 major public ports. The newest port data obtained by JOC.com shows the port’s throughput in the first fiscal quarter through the end of June increased 3.3 percent year-over-year to 1.14 million TEUs.