Bangalore: Global terminal operator APM Terminals Management BV has asked the tariff regulator to defer revision of container terminal rates at the Jawaharlal Nehru (JN) Port near Mumbai.
The firm has asked the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP), which oversees union government-owned ports, for time till December given the global slowdown in demand.
Low demand: Gateway Terminals India, which runs one of the three terminals at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, has sought permission from TAMP to withdraw an October application asking for a 20% hike in tariffs.
Gateway Terminals India Pvt. Ltd, the company that runs one of the three terminals at India’s busiest container port, has sought permission to withdraw an application it filed in October asking for a 20% hike in tariffs for services rendered at the facility, said two people familiar with the development. It has also sought permission from TAMP to continue with existing tariffs till December, they said. Both declined to be identified.
“We hope to achieve a favourable response from the authorities,” said Arvind Bhatnagar, chief executive officer of Gateway Terminals.
TAMP declined to comment.
APM Terminals, the container terminal operating unit of Danish shipping and oil conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk AS, owns 74% of Gateway Terminals. Container Corp. of India Ltd (Concor), which operates container trains, holds the remaining 26%.
TAMP, however, is not in favour of the firm withdrawing its October application, said the two people. Its reluctance is largely because the validity of its earlier tariffs expired in December and is due for revision. However, the revision could be in either direction.
The regulator has instead asked Gateway Terminals to update its tariff revision application taking into account the current trade scenario. TAMP has also told the firm that it will have to justify its application on the basis of costs so that it is able to continue with the existing tariffs.
Meanwhile, TAMP has extended the validity of the existing rates of Gateway Terminals till 30 June, or till the effective date of implementation of the new tariff order, whichever is earlier.
Since August 2006, Gateway Terminals has been charging its customers Rs3,540 for handling a loaded standard container. With 1.46 million standard containers handled, Gateway is also the only container handling facility of the three at the port that registered higher volumes in fiscal 2009. It handled 1.29 million standard containers in 2007-08.
Gateway Terminals started full-fledged operations in August 2006 at the terminal, which has an annual capacity of 1.3 million standard containers. The APM Terminals-Concor consortium had won the rights to develop and operate the terminal for 30 years starting 2006 through a competitive bidding process.