Chittagong in Bangladesh and Alang in Gujarat are global leaders in the marine salvage industry, with the Indian facility having a clear edge over its eastern rival — both by way of the number of ships received and the quantum of steel recovered from the dismantling of the vessels. But since early March, even before the lockdown, Alang hasn’t heard the last of the foghorn blasts from ships ending active deployment.
Due to delays in evacuation of cargo, some cargo owners have either suspended their operations or are finding it difficult to transport goods or complete the paper work. The government has imposed a complete lockdown in the country for a period of 21 days till April 14 in the wake of outbreak of deadly coronavirus.
Amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said it has adopted the practice of cleaning all its trains exhaustively at depots before putting them into passenger services everyday.
Executives at Future Supply Chain, DHL Express, Ecom Express, Safexpress and Spoton Logistics said the operations are beginning to unfreeze, though it will take at least a week for them to smoothen out.
Ship calls at Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Mumbai were down 15% at 141 in February over the previous month, according to data provided by Shipsy, a supply-chain technology platform.
Air freight operators and logistics firms are being forced to suspend operations because goods are piling up at cargo terminals due to lack of staff and trucks have been halted by police enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown across the country.
About $829 billion of goods traveled through India’s ports in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the 13th most in the world. The country is also the third-biggest importer of crude oil and fourth-biggest of LNG, as well as a major buyer of coal and palm oil and an exporter of sugar.
The federal shipping ministry has issued a letter allowing ports to use the COVID-19 pandemic as valid grounds to declare force majeure clause, according to a notification seen by Reuters. Declaration of force majeure could delay discharge of crude vessels, an Indian refining source told Reuters.
While international travel curbs have been put in place by many countries, including India, vessels will need to function as usual so that transportation of essential commodities is not hampered, the advisory said. The DGS has therefore, put in place a protocol to be followed in dealing with vessels and people on-board, to contain the spread of the disease.
Introducing the Major Ports Authority Bill, Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the idea is not to privatise major ports but to give them more powers to take decisions in a competitive market.
Screening of all cargo vessels coming from the 12 worst-affected Covid-19 countries outside Indian ports may delay the supplies of parts for cars, smartphones, televisions and home appliances and some finished electronic items to ensure that members of the crew were not infected with the virus.
The government last month had directed all 12 major ports to immediately put in place screening, detection and quarantine system for disembarking seafarers and cruise passengers as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak.
New Delhi Mumbai’s Port Health Organisation (PHO) has decided to screen cargo vessels coming from coronavirus-affected countries. The vessels will be declared “healthy” or “suspect” after screening for Covid-19 infection.
Kolkata Port Trust is looking to lease its land as big as London Docklands to boost profit.
The team visited Agartala Integrated Check Post (ICP) bordering Brahmanbaria district of Bangladesh on Wednesday, and Srimantapur Integrated Check Post in Sipahijala district bordering Comilla district of the neighbouring country, about 60 km from here, on Thursday.
The plan to hold roadshows for Shipping Corporation of India’s stake sale has taken a hit due to virus outbreak.
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