They find roads leading to L&T facility less congested

It was supposed to be a trial run for a Karnataka-based Japanese automobile major and one of the world’s largest shipping companies at the L&T Port in Kattupalli.

The Japanese automobile firm, whose name Port officials were reluctant to reveal, tried it for the first time, while it was the third attempt for NYK Lines. They are now eyeing Kattupalli International Container Terminal (KICT), following efficient handling of containers in the last eight days.

According to the sources, the Japanese automobile major decided to utilise KICT, about 30 km from here, instead of the Chennai Port. One of the reasons is that officials were able to reach KICT from Bangalore ahead of schedule and cargoes loaded/unloaded without any hassle after completing Customs formalities.

On any given day, the container-laden truck would have been parked either at the Central Warehousing Corporation depot in Madhavaram for Customs seal verification and on roads leading to the Chennai Port for hours together, the sources said.

Talking to The Hindu, the company official said: “The construction of Ennore-Manali Road helped our cause to reach the port on time, otherwise our drivers would have been forced to stay put on several places, including Inner Ring Road junction, MFL junction, Ernavur junction and before the Chennai Port zero gate. Here, it was a hassle-free entry with simple procedures to follow.”

On Thursday, NYK Lines berthed its second cargo vessel IZUMO at Kattupalli as part of Thailand-Chennai Express (TCX) Service. The vessel carried 164 twenty-foot equivalent units of import containers and 32 export boxes. The maiden vessel ‘IWAKI’ carried similar number of import and export boxes. IZUMO will now sail to Port Klang, Singapore and Laem Chabang (Thailand). The third vessel of TCX service will arrive here on June 27.

NYK Lines officials flew from Mumbai to supervise the operations. While expressing satisfaction, they said a decision regarding regular sailing would be made soon.

An L&T Port official said: “Our facility is ready in all sense. We have the latest equipment to handle the export-import activities and sufficient space for laden-vehicles and containers. We are having dialogues with the shipping lines and the customers urging them to support our Port.”

Mentioning that a tobacco manufacturer and car-makers in and around Sriperumbudur had evinced keen interest to use the new terminal, the Port officials said the cargo flow would increase as soon as the Customs grants permission for more Container Freight Stations to use the new facility.

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