THE Adani Group-owned Mundra Port has hit a new productivity milestone ahead of the opening of a fourth mega-terminal, an achievement likely to intensify competition with its main rival Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) also on India's west coast.
Adani International Container Terminal (AICTPL), a joint venture between Adani Group and Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) loaded and discharged 10,254 TEU - touted as the largest-ever lift on a single sailing at an Indian port - when it serviced the MSC Bruxelles at the end of September. The vessel is deployed on MSC's new 'INGWE' service connecting Asia, the Gulf and Africa.
The new milestone broke the previous high of 8,703 TEU achieved on the MSC Fillippa that called AICTPL in September last year, according to a company statement, reported IHS Media.
MSC and Adani in January 2016 reached an agreement to lengthen AICTPL's quay by 2,132 feet to 4,790 feet and add 15 superpostpanamax quay cranes, doubling annual capacity from 1.5 million TEU to 3.1 million TEU.
The 50:50 venture, established in 2013, has been a key factor in Mundra's strong growth in recent years, as MSC has been using AICTPL for its transshipment traffic in the Indian subcontinent region.
The terminal expansion is part of Adani Port's strategic plan to position Mundra as the leading container port in India with a capacity of 6.6 million TEU annually. It has also been winning more hinterland customers and accessing new markets with rail upgrades, an effort that resulted in Mundra's April to June volumes rising 20 per cent year on year to one million TEU.
While Mundra has expanded and increased productivity, its chief rival JNPT has also done well, and the opening of PSA International's Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals (BMCT) will raise capacity there to 7.5 million TEU.
Underscoring those productivity gains, the use of radio-frequency identification container tracking has given JNPT an edge over Mundra's overall dwell times, with an average of 48 hours at JNPT compared with 53 hours at Mundra.