Chennai Container Depot: Gateway to the Far EastFrom fresh fruits, garments and appliances, to auto parts, chemicals and steel, the entire spectrum of cargo lands at Allcargo’s Container Freight Station (CFS) in Chennai. Located in the south and close to the major port of Chennai, the CFS in Chennai is a vital node in Allcargo’s pan-India network of seven container depots.
The Chennai Port is India’s second largest port and the southern gateway for India’s ocean trade. Befittingly, Allcargo’s CFS in Chennai plays a significant role in enabling cargo movement, both domestic and international. It handles a huge volume of container movement regularly — 10,000 TEUs per month as import, and 1,500 TEUs per month as export.
The CFS in Chennai was one of the earliest to come up in the region and offers customers the huge benefit of its advantageous location. Located closest to the port, at just 9km distance, it offers customers a shorter transit time, given that the road to the port experiences high traffic congestion.
Built as a modern facility on 25 acres of prime land in 2007, the large CFS can host CFS containers up to 5,000 TEUs at a time and employs over 500 people. “Allcargo’s CFS in Chennai has a significant market share, and is in fact among the market leaders in Chennai by import volume,” says Capt. Avnash Iyer, Vice President, Allcargo and the man in charge of the CFS logistics operations in Chennai.
Apart from import and FCL and LCL transportation, the CFS in Chennai also offers customers added services such as bonded storage, container leasing, maintenance and repair, etc. The state-of-the-art facility is C-TPAT (Customs and Trade Pact Against Terrorism) compliant and accredited for ISO 9001 and OHSAS 14000 certifications.
Focus on service
The CFS in Chennai uses the latest technologies for saving time and cost for the customers. For instance, the CFS in Chennai pioneered the technology of tagging containers with close range passive RFID tags and uses this to track and locate containers anywhere within the CFS. This technology not only saves time and increases productivity and safety, it also offers customers real-time remote accessed information on their containers.
Customer service is paramount at the CFS in Chennai, which offers some unique services:
- Faster movement between port and CFS
- Domesticated container storage
- Bonded cargo facility
- Reefer containers for cold chain
- Customised billing system with single window billing for key customers
- Separate billing counter for LCL, located close to the place of delivery
- Single point relationship management
Another unique feature here is the high speed of stuffing and de-stuffing CFS containers. In May 2018, the CFS in Chennai achieved its highest figure for LCL imports. This is indicative of how the entire unit gears up to move cargo as quickly as possible.
Allcargo’s customers benefit from a first-in-India service — this CFS operates an international trans-shipment hub catering to customers worldwide. The hub is also used by importers who wish to take advantage of the shorter transit times. Capt. Iyer says customers who source their cargo from the Far East to destinations in the northern hinterland such as Delhi NCR, prefer to route time-sensitive cargo through Chennai because transit time reduces by as much as five days compared to say, Nhava Sheva in Mumbai or Mundra in Gujarat. “We offer customers a special trucking fleet service to move cargo to the NCR and metros,” says Capt. Iyer.
Safety is high on the priority list at the CFS in Chennai. The facility has the latest in fire-safety equipment and follows world-class processes for storage of hazardous cargo. The CFS conducts stringent checks for entry and exit of cargo and personnel, with CCTV cameras and high boundary walls preventing unauthorised access. Internally, the facility has separate walking paths to keep people safe and away from machinery. The staff undergoes regular training with fire drills, evacuation procedures, accident management, etc.
Adhering to Avvashya Group’s commitment towards a greener tomorrow, Allcargo’s CFS in Chennai is keen to lower its carbon footprint and reduce environment pollution. It was the first CFS to invest in rubber-tyred gantry cranes. Today it uses solar power and LED lighting to reduce power consumption, and maintains a green cover.
Capt. Iyer says that the facility is constantly working to hit new benchmarks in productivity in CFS logistics. “Our target is to bring in 80 per cent of containers within 24 hours of delivery commencing at the port; de-stuff all LCL containers within 12 hours of arrival or receipt of manifest (whichever is later); and reach all export CFS containers to port within 12 hours of document handover.” Also on the cards is a new CFS facility in the nearby Ennore port.
The CFS in Chennai is a jewel in the crown of Allcargo’s pan-India CFS network and offers unmatched facilities such as state-of-the-art technology platforms, experienced teams, world-class equipment and processes, and 24×7 safety and security.
As India’s GDP continues to grow on its upward trajectory, Allcargo is staying in step, providing customers in Chennai with the best of enablers for business growth.