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Photo: JNPT

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Nhava Sheva) is making slow progress getting terminal systems at its own facility (JNPCT) back on track after a suspected cyber-attack on 20 February.Sources in JNPT told The Loadstar it had recovered its systems, but online applications were still not “up and running”, a port official said. “Online data uploading has not yet been reactivated, which is expected to take another two to three weeks.” The system disruption has been a source of concern for shippers and freight forwarders already facing several challenges in a capacity-stressed market, and they have had to revert to paper-based documentation, slowing operations.A major challenge for cargo owners is getting timely arrival notices and customs clearances, while container freight stations were unable to release cargo in the absence of, or delays to, import manifest filings.“We are compelled to adopt manual procedures for delivery of import containers,” the Container Freight Stations Association of India said in a trade advisory. “However, with the manual system being extremely cumbersome, JNPCT is facing operational challenges and is able to give deliveries of only a fraction of containers to container freight stations.” JNPT has also seen long truck queues in recent weeks, prompting some carriers to warn customers of potential gate-in delays for cargo already planned for loading.However, JNPT claimed there had been no impact on cargo operations beyond the system knockout.

“To ensure business continuity, a standard operating procedure has been chalked out for an interim period for handling export-import containers at JNPCT,” it added.As JNPCT works to become fully automated again, the port saw combined volumes in the current fiscal year reach an all-time high. With 5.17m teu handled between April and February (11 months), it beat 2018-19’s (full fiscal year) record volume of 5.13m teu. And this was despite growing competition from Mundra and other Adani Group-operated terminals in the west coast region.“JNPT’s spectacular performance in financial year 2021-22 has taken the port’s business to new heights, irrespective of the pandemic,” said port chairman Sanjay Sethi. “JNPT will continue to ensure timely and safe movement of export-import trade with modern infrastructure, and novel technologies.”With five container terminals, JNPT is India’s busiest public container handler.

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