DP World Nhava Sheva is slowly grabbing the productivity lead at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) — a clear sign that efficiency has become the key differentiator among terminal operators, and one that will indicate who survives, long term, in a hyper-competitive market.
The Dubai-headquartered company has two terminals at India’s largest public harbor — Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT) and Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal (NSIGT).
Of the five terminals in JNPT, including new concessionaire PSA Internationals’ Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals, NSIGT had the best vessel turnaround times and crane rates last month, edging out long-time top performer APM Terminals’ Gateway Terminals India (GTI).
The analysis found that NSIGT was able to receive and sail out ships in no more than 1 day during February, compared with an average of 1.4 days in February 2017, whereas its gross crane rates increased to 43.26 moves per hour from 42.61 days a year earlier, when measured in TEU liftings. Additionally, NSIGT’s average output per ship berth day rose substantially to 42,799 tonnes (47,178 tons) from 36,980 tonnes, respectively, and vessels calling there also spent much less time in idle at berth, representing 2.44 percent, versus nearly 11 percent during February 2017.
"Our terminal, NSIGT, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to provide safe, quick, and efficient operations for large size vessels," the company told. The private operator’s crane productivity also compares with those at some of the leading terminals in the world.
JNPT rivals also notch productivity improvements: In contrast, although GTI improved its quayside performance significantly on a year-over-year basis, it still lagged its peer on all key metrics, with vessel turnaround times averaging 1.36 days, versus 1.71 days in February 2017. Crane rates were 42.72 moves per hour, up from 36.31 moves per hour; output per ship berth day at 40,148 tonnes, up from 35,650 tonnes; and berth idle time was flat at 10 percent, the analysis shows.
DP World Subcontinent has lately placed greater “growth hopes” on NSIGT, which officially opened in early 2016 and boasts more advanced operating capabilities, after its flagship unit NSICT became embroiled in a complicated rate regime, as a result of previous, so-called, unfriendly government bidding rules for public-private-partnership projects. To sidestep those royalty payments and rate reduction-related issues, the company seems to have adopted a strategy of limiting container-handling at NSICT to its contractual commitment of 600,000 TEU per year and, instead, has been consolidating operations at NSIGT.
The fact that NSICT’s volume declined from 1.51 million TEU in fiscal year 2010 to 2011 to 728,560 TEU in the last fiscal year and that NSIGT’s volume jumped 49 percent year over year in the April-to-February period highlights DP World’s operational realignment at JNPT.
With a berth line of about 1,083 feet, a 44-foot draft, a 68-acre storage yard, four rail-mounted quay cranes, and 12 rubber-tired gantry cranes, NSICT is capable of handling 1 million TEU annually. Furthermore, the terminal holds the feat of hosting the largest container ship ever to have called Indian shores, with the 13,000 TEU MSC Cristina docking there in April 2017. NSICT also works with optical character recognition technology enabled gate systems, a first of its kind in the country.
Another boost for NSIGT will be an impending weekly call from the nine-vessel Indamex Service in the India-North America trade, which has ended its berthing window arrangement with port-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Container Terminal. The terminal change is scheduled to take effect with the March 11 arrival of the 6,400 TEU Priority at JNPT. This brings the number of weekly calls at NSIGT to five.
"We aim to reduce the cost of logistics in order to facilitate ease-of-doing-business and provide efficient and reliable flow of goods," officials at DP World Nhava Sheva added.