Operations at the Chennai port come to a standstill

The Ex-Im operations in the Chennai port came to a standstill on Tuesday after talks between owners of container-carrying trailers and various trade bodies failed. Trailer operators have been on strike since Monday demanding an 80% hike in hire charges.

S.R. Raja of the Trailer Owners’ Association said only one association, the Customs House Agents had agreed to increase rates. “There are two more associations involved in the trade, but they have not agreed to our terms. The price of everything from third party insurance to spare parts and tyre retreading has increased. The last increase in hire charges was in 2014,” he said. Trailers had been operation for 41 years now and the business had changed from merely dropping off and picking up containers to and from the ports to more freight stations and distances being added.

The operators have submitted new rates as per the distance and size of the container. For instance, they want ₹6,120 to be paid for a 20-feet-long container for which the present rate is ₹3,400. Similarly, for a 40-feet-long container, they want ₹12,240 to be paid in place of ₹6,800. These rates have been fixed according to the distance between the port and various container freight stations (CFS). There are a total of 34 that serve the three ports in Chennai and Tiruvallur, and they are members of the National Association of Container Freight Stations (NACFS).

Sources in the NACFS said they were not a trade body and only an association. “We cannot get involved in commercial transactions between our members and their vendors. The consignments are carried following a direct contract entered by the member and the vendor, and we are not even party to this contract. Our members cannot be told to increase transport charges. It is against the Competition Act,” a source said.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 8:53:49 am |