Five issues viz port congestion, customs clearance (including scanning & ICEGATE), shipping line issues & charges, documentation & paperwork, and regulatory clearance remain to be the most common problems across ports and out of these just 4 issues constitute 80 per cent of total issues causing detention & demurrage. In addition, three major issues are – Processes and operations across the ports are not standardized or uniform; Costs and time for key processes are unpredictable and there is an unacceptable level of variation across ports as well as within port; Several government initiatives taken need to be followed through to completion.
The above findings have been unveiled by Dun & Bradstreet Report on ‘Port Logistics: Issues & Challenges in India’, which was handed over to the Union Minister of Commerce & Industry Mr Suresh Prabhu on February 12, 2018. The study report highlighted and discussed about various roadblocks and suggests policy recommendations to resolve the challenges across ports in India. According to the study report, to achieve a target of 5 per cent share in world exports, India’s exports need to grow at an average rate of over 26 per cent for the next five years. This would require increasing its product competitiveness. Enhancing product competitiveness in the global market needs infrastructure for trade to improve, and ports are a critical part of trade infrastructure.
The study pointed out all key issues and challenges and also proposes 60 policy measures to strengthen the ports sector, which represents the bulk of India’s merchandise trade .The study introduces a ‘Port Performance Index’ as an attempt to benchmark performance of various ports by combining qualitative perception of stakeholders with quantitative outcome based data.
The study covered 13 ports which presently handle around 67 per cent of India’s maritime trade, engaging with 700 respondents across India, comprising government officials, trade associations, exporter/importers, cargo handling agents and freight forwarders. Feedback was collected from these stakeholders on both qualitative and quantitative aspects of business transactions at ports.
According to the commerce ministry sources, the scope of this study is limited only to container and bulk cargo handled at these ports and does not cover liquid cargo.
Looking at 13 major ports, 3 ports (JNPT, Kamarajar, Vizag) have received ‘Good’ score; 7 ports (Cochin, Kandla, Paradip, Chennai, Mormugao, New Mangalore and VOC) have received ‘Average’ score and 3 ports (Haldia, Kolkata and MbPT) have received ‘Poor’ score.