Labor Unrest Cripples India’s Port Nhava Sheva

Mumbai’s gateway port is operating at a fraction of its capacity due to continuing discord between port truckers and the port authorities for APM Terminal and Container Corp of India.  Negotiations have stalled after nearly a month of unproductive talks, and the port truckers are using slowdown techniques and no show days to draw attention to their cause.  While the unrest started in one of Nhava Sheva’s three terminals, the back-log and congestion in the area have now effectively crippled the entire port.  On November 18th, for example, only 6% of the containers available for pick-up were actually moved from APM’s terminal; when the terminal is functioning correctly, 25-33% of available containers are put in motion.  The consequences have been severe for the international trade community as vessels are rolling and the port has no more space for containers and cargo.  As costs and tempers rise, it is now clear that it will be months before the port can possibly return to normal operations.

Importers and exporters in the Gujarat region of India are diverting cargo to Mundra, Pipava, and Hazira ports, but these are smaller ports which will quickly be overwhelmed with the added cargo.

We will keep you posted on the difficult situation in Port Nhava Sheva and any information on the smaller alternative port options in the region.

To get a true sense of the problem, view photos of the congested Port of Nhava Sheva.