Shipping minister asks ports to ensure smooth cargo operations during lockdown

Union Minister Mansukh Lal Mandaviya on Friday exhorted port officials and other stakeholders to convert crisis into an opportunity by ensuring smooth cargo operations so that supplies are not hit during lockdown in view of coronavirus pandemic.

Shipping Minister Mandaviya held a video conference with the stakeholders of ports including port users, courier and cargo services, representatives of the custom brokers associations from the various parts of the country, logistic service providers and others to assess the challenges and concerns caused due to COVID-19 and lockdown in the country on the port operations.

“He called for collaborative efforts for converting this crisis into opportunity for the ports and port operation so that the supply chain of the country can run smoothly,” as per a statement from the Ministry of Shipping.

The meeting was also attended by the officers of the Ministry of Shipping and chairpersons of all major ports.

Mandaviya sought support of all the stakeholders in this unprecedented crisis.

Welcoming suggestions for decongesting ports, management, welfare and safety of workers and other challenges faced by the ports and its stakeholders, Mandaviya stressed upon the usage of state-of-the-art technology in the port operation and container management to manage the future challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

The representatives raised the concerns, ranging from high Port operation cost, stuck up cargo, port congestion, shortage of labourers, movement of workers and truck drivers, managing supply chain and other difficulties due to lockdown.

India has 12 major ports — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V.O. Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).