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Adani Ports weans away two box services to Kattupalli from Chennai

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MUMBAI : Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has poached two container shipping services from Centre-owned Chennai Port to its Kattupalli Port located nearby as competition for cargo intensifies in the Chennai cluster.

“We are in the process of shifting two services out from Chennai and we expect growth to happen in Kattupalli,” Karan Adani, Chief Executive Officer, APSEZ told analysts during the second quarter earnings call.

“We expect more market share to be taken especially in Kattupalli Port from Chennai Port,” he added.

The Far East service run by COSCO is understood to be one of the two services shifting to Kattupalli Port, industry sources said. One of the container terminals operating at Chennai Port is facing congestion, a source said, pointing to the reason for the shift.

During the first half of FY22, cargo handled by Kattupalli Port declined 11.2 per cent to 3.33 million tonnes (mt) from 3.75 mt in H1FY21. Of this, containers accounted for 2.8 mt, while dry and liquid cargo were 0.3 mt and 0.2 mt, respectively.

Liquid cargo handled at Kattupalli Port posted a growth of over 200 per cent in H1FY22 from zero compared to last year on the back of the addition of LPG and LNG cargo to its portfolio.

In the dry cargo basket, Kattupalli Port added dolomite to its business.

In contrast, Chennai Port handled 23.091 mt of cargo in H1FY22 from 18.381 mt a year earlier, posting a growth of 25.62 per cent. The two container terminals operating at Chennai Port handled a combined 7,87,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) between April and September from 5,61,000 TEUs in the corresponding period a year ago.

Kamarajar Port Ltd, a subsidiary of Chennai Port, handled 18.980 mt in the first half of the current fiscal from 10.776 mt in the same period last year. APSEZ, which is operating the container terminal at Kamarajar Port on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model, handled 2,33,000 TEUs during H1FY22 from 62,000 TEUs in the same period last year.

Chennai Port acquired Kamarajar Port from the Central government in March 2020 to deal with intense competition for cargo in and around the Chennai region.

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