JNPT’s (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust) latest plan of tender calling out on last Friday to all Container Freight Stations (CFS) operators could prove to be a respite for businesses that suffered an initial hit from the Modi government’ latest initiative — Direct Port Delivery (DPD). The new plan offers CFS operators to bid directly to operate under the new regime.
Brijesh Lohia, Managing Director of Global Ocean Group said, “Although the introduction of DPD is deemed to prove highly favourable for importers, the limitations such as dispatching within 72 hour timeframe and congestion at the port has brought up the question if our ports are ready for the DPD model.”
To begin with, under the DPD model, JNPT appointed one single CFS where all goods were offloaded and stored. But in an initiative to iron out early issues encountered since inception, the tender call which might select up to 10 CFS will facilitate importers with warehousing options and resolve congestion problems at the port. Another great benefit would be the cost cutting as the key criteria of the tender, as it will allow one fixed cost of handing to be charged by all CFS operators, as contrasted with inconsistent rates charged earlier.
Also, as per the initial DPD policy, it was intended to facilitate direct transfer of goods from port terminal to importer, as a result, completely eliminating the presence of CFS-port warehouses where the cargo is stored after the shipment has reached the port. Even the custom clearance would take place before the shipment reaches the CFS, further contributing towards time saving.
“Previously when vessels used to arrive at JNPT, it usually took dwell time of up to nine days for delivery, so the time lapse has been a major issue for importers with urgent deliveries,” added Lohia.
Prior to introduction of the DPD regime, goods were stalled at CFS for a couple of days for customs clearance but now customs authorities grant green channels to certain agencies based on past performance, therefore fast-tracking the process leading to the deliveries, which are now possible in 48 hours.
“The process also helps cut time and costs as earlier goods that were held at CFS would cost up to Rs 15,000, but now with DPD in place it usually doesn’t go beyond Rs 7,000,” Lohia said.
Direct Port Delivery (DPD) a globally popular concept, has been introduced by JNPT in India last December. It necessitates the delivery of a shipment from the port to the consignee instead of initially holding it at a container freight station (CFS), and has so far proved to be beneficial to most registered importers. However, among the 778 registered importers, several big companies have experienced hiccups in the operations due to constraining policies under the model, as per latest reports.