New Container Yard to accelerate growth of Krishnapatnam Port

KRISHNAPATNAM: The newly built 48-acre Container Storage Yard at Krishnapatnam Port will target hinterland shippers in India’s southern region upset with chronic delays at Chennai port, about 110 miles away.

Gateway Distriparks’ Krishnapatnam location has roughly 50,000 square feet of bonded warehouse space, capable of handling 60,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units, and another 100,000 square feet of space for domestic warehousing needs with capacity to handle 100,000 TEUs, according to a company release.

The Rs. 90 crore (about $13.5 million)-project is Gateway Distriparks seventh container storage and distribution site in the country.

“The company sees this region as playing a key role for its growth plans, and we are happy to announce our fourth CFS in this region to support the local trade,” GDL Joint Managing Director Ishaan Gupta told RailNews. “We will continue to invest here further, through both GDL and Snowman Logistics, to maintain a high quality offering and increase capacities in the future.”

Krishnapatnam has dramatically benefited from chronic bottlenecks at Chennai in recent months after Maersk Line in April shifted its westbound shuttle loop meant to cover South India transshipment cargo from the public harbor to Krishanpatnam. That was followed by the Danish carrier increasing the frequency of its Chennai Express Service, or CHX, at Krishnapatnam to weekly from fortnightly, virtually transforming the private harbor into an “east coast hub.”

To push those growth trends, Krishnapatnam has lowered rates to gain a competitive edge over Chennai thanks to a deregulated pricing environment for private minor ports.

“Krishnapatnam has developed a practice of benchmarking their charges to the port charges in Chennai. This allows Krishnapatnam to offer lower prices to customers who can shift their traffic from Chennai to Krishnapatnam,” global port design and engineering firm AECOM said in a port analysis.

Looking to capitalize on growing hinterland volumes, public rail operator Container Corporation of India also late last year opened a port-side rail yard at Krishnapatnam.

Those improvements were vividly reflected in Krishnapatnam’s April-to-January throughput, which nearly doubled to 184,242 TEUs.

Krishnapatnam Container Terminal includes a quay of 2,150 feet, an 89-acre back-up area, and an annual capacity of 1.2 million TEUs.

In addition to its warehousing services activity, which includes rail-linked inland depots at Garhi Harsaru, near Gurgaon in Haryana; Ludhiana in Punjab; and Kalamboli, near Nhava Sheva, GDL offers intermodal services via its rail subsidiary Gateway Rail, which is India’s biggest private intermodal operator, with a fleet of 21 freight trains and nearly 250 trucks.