As competition intensifies, marine terminals at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) — India's busiest container gateway — are exploring new ways to improve customer service and increase productivity.
DP World Nhava Sheva, in collaboration with local customs authorities, has launched “on-wheel examination and sampling” services for imports booked under the direct port delivery (DPD) program, an ease-of-doing-business measure that the company claims is a first in the country and can further reduce dwell times at the port.
Officials at the Dubai-based company told that the simpler process applies to full containerloads handled at the flagship Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (NSICT), and that a dedicated space within the terminal has been allocated to ensure smooth customs operations and clearance of cargo from the terminal.
“With this initiative, we aim to provide faster and cost effective delivery of containers directly to customers in order to support their strategic growth ambitions,” DP World Nhava Sheva CEO Ravinder Johal said. “We have worked closely with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Customs to make this process efficient and add even more value to the logistics supply chain.”
DP World, which operates two terminals in the public harbor — including NSICT and Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminals (NSIGT) — already has in place other support infrastructure and resources, such as a dedicated yard and trained personnel, to provide round-the-clock services for DPD handling.
The company believes these efforts have made JNPT’s supply chains “more efficient and lean, and they thereby substantially reduce inventory costs and transportation time from the terminal to the importers’ factory/warehouse.”
That push was reflected in DP World Nhava Sheva’s DPD March volume, which vaulted 56 percent compared with March 2017.
Cargo directly from the wharf — another time-saver: The DPD procedure allows pre-approved importers to pick up their cargo directly from the wharf, rather than at an off-site yard, which involves extra costs and delays. Roughly 50 percent of DPD cargo is discharged from terminal yards, whereas the remainder is shifted to shippers’ designated depots as “out-of-charge” cargo, according to customs officials.
As JNPT’s DPD volume steadily grows, with that share hitting close to 40 percent in March, related inland logistics solutions are in the midst of a sea change. Starting May 1, the port introduced an Uber-like, on-demand transport operation in which four third-party logistics providers have the mandate to move DPD cargo on five select hinterland routes, with a published fixed tariff.
JNPT and other stakeholders argue that the transparent, streamlined arrangement will eliminate trucker cartelization, arbitrary pricing, and lengthy wait times.
“This is really an exim [export-import] trade-friendly solution, which will provide an end-to-end transport solution and has to be implemented in a seamless and defined way,” the port said in a statement.
DP World has been at the forefront of automation and trade service improvements at JNPT, having set up a paperless gate module — called Smart Gate — at NSICT in early 2015 and optical character recognition-based gate operations at NSIGT in early 2017.
The global operator handled 1.3 million TEU in fiscal 2017-2018, out of a total, record-setting JNPT volume of 4.83 million TEU, statistics show.