Container vessels to India will lose time window due to Suez traffic

Some bunching at Chennai and JNPT, bulk and liquid vessels to be less impacted


container vessel | Shipping industry | shipping ports

Aditi Divekar  | 

With the Ever Given container vessel having gotten freed a couple of days ago, it is the container vessels coming to India that will have lost their time window leading to some bunching taking place at ports such as Chennai and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), industry officials said today.

* Chennai Port expecting 7-day delay

* Chennai Port has spare capacity to handle vessel bunching

* Bulk, liquid vessel schedules to remain unaffected

* Container vessels to lose time window

* Around 400 vessels to be shipped across globe remain stuck at Suez

“Bulk and liquid vessels follow the queuing system and will not really get much affected. Also, it is the container cargo which is mostly coming from Europe to India via that route so the container segment will see some bunching at Indian ports,” Anil Devli, chief executive officer at Indian National Shipowner’s Association (INSA).

Ever Given blocking the Suez canal traffic almost entire of last week has led to about 400 vessels scheduled for sailing across globe being stuck around the canal, said reports.

It is not just the Indian ports where container vessels will lose their window, as the impact would be felt across Asia region, said industry experts.

“Vessels could also look to not call port where it has lost the window and instead leave cargo at the next best available port to catch up on the window available at their next port destination and iron out the delay caused due to Ever Given,” informed Devli.

Meanwhile, Chennai port is reviewing the situation at present and its terminals are looking for daily updates on the vessel schedules.

“We are expecting a seven day delay with an accumulation for 10-15 days. But we have spare capacity at port as the current occupancy is only 50 percent. Even if some amount of bunching happens in container vessels, the port is in a position to handle it,” B. Vimal, senior deputy traffic manager at Chennai Port told Business Standard.

The liquid cargo such as crude oil and petroleum products to India usually comes from West Asia and West Africa and in turn will not impact these vessels in terms of their schedules, said industry officials.

Bulk vessels too largely come from China, Japan and far-east regions, again remaining not directly impacted due to the traffic situation around Suez, they added.

“Though delays will be there, marine traffic is regulated and hence scheduling could remain same with some alterations. We do not expect much of any issue as the major concern is sorted. Some delays are also possible due to cautioned movement of vessels,” said Ranjit Singh, executive director and chief executive officer at Essar Shipping.

The Suez Canal is a human-made waterway, is one of the most heavily used shipping lanes in the world. It provides major shortcut for ships moving between Asia and Europe. Before its construction, the ships had to sail around Africa to finish the same journey.

Last week, the vessel that was blocking Suez Canal was a Panama-registered container ship that was on its way from China to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Due to a mishap caused by bad weather, the 400 metres long and 59 metres wide vessel has got stuck here since Tuesday and was freed on March 29, Sunday.

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