A strike and cargo congestion at the Chennai and Tuticorin ports have forced export-import business to divert cargo via Kochi. Automobile parts, granites, eggs and cotton yarn are among consignments being routed through the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) here as Exim business strive to meet deadlines and fulfil commitments, shipping industry sources here said on Tuesday.

They said that more than 1,000 TEUs of cargo had already reached Kochi from Chennai and Tuticorin and more was expected to be diverted here, as more schedules might be shifted to Kochi in the coming days.

An operator in Tuticorin is learnt to have informed the port authority there that the ongoing indefinite strike by lorry owners and piling up of containers at the terminal had forced it not to schedule further calls by any vessel unless the strike was withdrawn.

Industry sources pointed out that logistics major Container Corporation of India had introduced two fixed day trains a week from Bangalore and Coimbatore to ICTT Kochi.

Concor has also introduced to and from services between Tuticorin and ICTT. The problem of a limited number of coastal schedules to carry cargo bound for Tuticorin has continued for a long time now, industry sources pointed out.

There has been a persisting problem at Tuticorin with the operations there being under a move count restriction.

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