Car manufacturers scouting for alternative to Chennai Port

Having handled nearly 1.50 lakh cars through 70 car carriers in the last 20 months, Ennore Port Ltd (EPL) plans to double the number of cars it handles for export to two lakh in the current year.

EPL started handling cars at its general cargo berth since September 2010. In the first year spanning about six months, Renault Nissan exported 54,264 cars.

The total car exports crossed the one lakh mark the following year through 51 car carriers.

In the first month of the current year, EPL handled about 7,000 cars. During May, it proposes to handle 13,000 cars through seven car carriers.

About 2,800 Nissan Micra cars were exported through Neptune Ace on May 10 and 546 cars through MV Colorado Highway on May 12. Hoegh Oslo will carry 1,500 cars on May 16.

These cars will be sent to various destinations such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Newcastle and cities in Italy and South Africa.

Talking to The Hindu, EPL Chairman-cum-Managing Director, S. Velumani said: “For the current year, Renault Nissan has promised to export 1.25 lakh cars. Both Ford and Toyota would export about 60,000 cars. We will easily cross the two lakh mark as Nissan has given only a conservative figure.”

For the last few months, cars manufacturers in and around Chennai have started scouting for an alternative port as Chennai Port is bogged down due to its congestion problem. While Chennai Port also offers the same type of parking facilities to car manufacturers, EPL provides parking space for 10,000 cars in its yard and 2,000 at berthing point. Besides, it allows the manufacturers to park cars at least 10 days before the schedule arrival of car carriers.

Many a time, it is easier to reach EPL as there is less congestion on the road compared to Chennai Port, said a General Manager of a leading automobile firm.