On Friday, Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) became the second port in the eastern coast to handle transhipment of used cars. The arrival of MV Triumph of Japanese Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) marked the commencement of transhipment of used cars. On its maiden visit, the car carrier offloaded 288 cars/vans and four buses and in return carried 620 Nissan cars to South Africa. These used cars will be picked up by another car carrier by January 20 and then it would be shipped to East African countries.

Sources in the logistics sector said that till recently Japanese shipping lines used the Port of Singapore or Hambantota in Sri Lanka as transhipment points for used cars. But due to space constraint they were forced to look for alternative ports and EPL fitted the bill.

EPL chairman-cum-managing director M.A. Bhaskarachar said, “This is for the first time, we are handling car transhipment. Encouraged by the successful trial run, MOL has announced that it would be making it a regular affair with more number of cars.”

Even though Chennai Port Trust (ChPT) had the distinction of being the first port to handle transhipment of cars some years back, it was not a big number to boast off. In the east coast, cars are exported from ChPT and EPL. Auto majors located in and around Chennai, Sriperumbudur and Oragadam are using both the ports for exports.

In the last nine months, EPL exported 1.47 lakh cars and expects to close the financial year with 2 lakh cars. At the same time, ChPT hopes to export 2.75 lakh cars.

During July 2013, Nissan Motors signed an agreement with EPL for export of 60,000 cars per annum. Similarly, Ford will be entering into a pact with EPL on January 20.