Maersk’s APM Terminal keen to run the container terminal

L&T Kattupalli Port and its container terminal operator International Container Terminal Services India Pvt. Ltd. (ICTSI) of Manila have parted ways.

They have given mutual consent to end their alliance from July 1.

A letter was reportedly issued on Friday, announcing the end of the alliance.

While ICTSI maintained silence on the issue, L&T Kattupalli Port has removed reference to the container operator from its website.

Significantly, the separation has taken place just a couple of days before the arrival of Maersk Line vessel Sea Land Champion here on Tuesday.

Maersk’s APM Terminal has been evincing keen interest to run the Kattupalli Port Container Terminal.

Deprived of orders and traffic, the Kattupalli Port has been struggling for the last two years to keep afloat. Even though efforts were made by various stakeholders to attract more shipping lines, get clearance from the Customs to export goods and get the port connected to more container freight stations, nothing much has happened.

The Port had even asked ICTSI to invest more in the new facility by keeping the future needs in mind. ICTSI, however, expressed its inability to bring in more money. This also in a way triggered the parting of ways between them, said a port user, who is in the know of developments.

Kattupalli Port last year handled over 5,900 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) of containers against its capacity of 12 lakh TEUs.

ICTSI denies

“It is not correct to blame us only for the above scenario. For the last three years, we have done all that we could to increase the port’s visibility through marketing efforts, and are talking to shipping lines to call on us. Though some of the major shipping lines have visited us on a trial basis, they are yet to firm up their decisions. The presence of Chennai and Kamarajar ports near our premises is also hampering our performance,” said an ICTSI official.