CPT may lose share of car export

With car manufacturers in the state exploring new routes to ensure timely delivery of exports, Krishnapatnam port, located some 180 km from Chennai near Nellore, is emerging a strong contender for the city port.

Chennai Port Trust (CPT) is the largest exporter of cars in India and exported 2,52,640 cars in 2011-12 from companies such as Hyundai, Nissan, Ford among others.

However, it has been facing serious congestion issues associated with surcharges for the last couple of years. Along with this, there are reports about rising cost of ‘non-billable’ consignment charges.

“All these are not only inflating our bills but also affecting production schedules,” complain exporters.

Hence, many firms are trying out newer areas such as Ennore Port and L&T Kattupalli port. In fact, Ennore Port’s cumulative car exports touched to lakh units on August 4.

However, with Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT) port, which is also well-connected by a NH 5 road with the city, gearing up its container terminal operations, there are possibilities for cargo traffic moving away to this area.

“For now, we are entirely operating from Chennai exports. However, if the volume goes up, we are not averse to look at Krishnapatnam port as an option in future,” says car major Ford India.

Following good enquiries from TN car manufacturers, Krishnapatnam Port Container Terminal (KPCT), described as an all-weather port with no tidal restrictions, is busy ramping its terminals.

Apart from taking its berth count to 15, KPCT is also planning a construct a 350-metre-long terminal to park 15,000 cars besides roll on-roll off discharge facility to load them into vessels that can carry 4000-6000 cars.

The export process is likely to start from September this year.

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