Kochi 15-12-2014: The Shipping fraternity in Kochi has opposed the port managements decision to bring down the dwell time for import cargo by reducing the number of free days. A spokesman of the coordination committee of port users said that the move to cut the number of free days from the present seven to three, effective from March, will only impose a great financial burden on importers, forcing them to divert cargo. The move will push up the cost of operations for importers to Rs. 1,600 for 20-feet containers and Rs. 3,200 for 40-feet containers. Any additional cost on an import container will result in reduction of imports to Kochi and thus will affect equipment availability.
A move such as this, in ports where there is congestion, is understandable. However, in Kochi, where the terminal is operating at only one third its capacity, the present move defies logic, he said. However, the port management says the reduction in dwell time for clearance from the ICTT will go a long way in reducing the time taken for physical receipt of imported goods by the consignee. It will also result in reduction of demurrage charges and other detention costs.
A senior port official said the average dwell time for import cargo in Kochi is now around 15 days, much longer than at other Indian ports. With shipping lines offering commodity-wise free days ranging between 14 to 21 days for line detention charges, port users pointed out that the managements decision would reverse the good work done to attract cargo. They said the seven days free time for port storage charges being offered now should in no way be curbed. Rather, it should be used as a marketing tool to attract more cargo to the port.