Chennai is the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu in India. It is located off the South -Eastern Coromandel coast beside the Bay of Bengal and has developed into a large business, educational and health-tourism hub in India. With a population of 8,000,000 plus and growing, Chennai is now a beta level city ranked by the Global Cities Index. The total area of Chennai and its suburbs is one of the quickest growing economies of India, and has successfully turned itself into a automobile industry hub. Industrial development along with manufacturing and software services have contributed greatly to Chennai’s economic development.
Chennai Port ranks second in India amongst container ports and is the biggest in the Bay of Bengal. The port now handles more than 63 million tonnes of cargo annually and it is envisaged that this port will cross 145 million tonnes per year within the next 5 years. In the last 15 years, the volume of cargo in Chennai port has risen from 31.22 million tonnes in 2003 to around 118 million tonnes in 2017, The port annually handles nearly 23 million tonnes of coal and 15 million tonnes of iron ore. As of 2017, about 800 trailers were entering Chennai port on a daily basis.
The Chennai Port has Oil Terminals BD1 and BD3, along with Iron Ore Terminals, Container Terminals CTB 1-4 and General Cargo Terminals West Quay 1-4 and Jawahar Docks 1 & 3. In between April 2017 and February 2018, a total of 12388000 tonnes of P.O.L, 27000 tonnes of Fertilizer, 148000 tonnes of raw fertilizers, 27374000 tonnes of container cargo and 7649000 tonnes of other cargo were handled by the Cargo Terminals at Chennai Port.
In the last two years, up to February 2018, 28500 tonnes of liquid bulk, 13800 tonnes of dry bulk, 6100 tonnes of break bulk and 69000 containers constituted the average Ship Berth Daily Output at Chennai Port. In the same period, 831 vessels of liquid bulk, 292 vessels of dry bulk, 624 vessels of break bulk and 1313 vessels of containers were handled by the cargo terminals of Chennai Port. The average turnaround time for vessels varied from 1.2 days for liquid bulk to 1.17 days for containers. With a land area of 587 acres and 26 available berths, the Chennai Port handled 1.82 million TEUs in container volume in 2016-2017. Automobiles, two-wheelers and standard industrial cargo form the bulk of the container cargo handled by the cargo terminals at the Chennai port.
Chennai International Airport serves the city of Chennai and its adjoining areas. Located in Meenambakkam at a distance of 21kms from Chennai, this is the fourth largest airport of the country. In the last fiscal year of 2016-2017, the airport handled 90,423 tonnes of domestic cargo, 321,952 tonnes of total cargo and 147,767 aircraft movements. The Air Cargo Complex at Chennai Airport was established in 1978 and has been on the expansion since then. Covering an area of 19.5 acres. The Export Area of the cargo terminal has a covered area of 20,595 square metres while the Import Wing boasts of a covered area of 20,090 square metres. The cargo terminals use latest and modern cargo-handling machinery and equipment. High Transfer Vehicles, forklifts, hydraulic power trucks and high-mast stackers are all in use at the Airport Cargo Terminal of Chennai.
The Cargo Terminals have individual cargo aprons that can fit in three wide bodied aircrafts. It even has an ULD parking space and hydrant-based re-feuelling capacity within the bay. The Airports Authority of India and Air India jointly handle operations at the cargo terminal. The annual cargo actually being handled by the cargo terminals at Chennai airport are 160,000 tonnes for export and 130,000 tonnes for import. With a ground floor area of 5200 square metres and a first floor area of 2295 square metres, the cargo terminals have a bonded area of 2270 square metres along with an examination area of 770 square metres.
In the wake of the increase in the volume of domestic cargo handled by the Chennai Airport, a 1500 square metre common user domestic cargo terminal was opened by the Airports Authority of India in August, 2017 and another three cargo terminals are in the pipeline to be built and opened soon. The cargo handled by the airport cargo terminals was valued at Rs. 186 crores in the 2016-2017 fiscal. The most handled commodities at the cargo terminal of Chennai airport include light engineering goods, textile materials, electronic goods of varying sizes, automobile components and Pharma products.
Thus, as seen above, the Cargo Terminals at the Chennai Port and the Chennai Airport have become vital pillars in the economic growth and success of the state of Tamil Nadu and continues to grow manifold even as we speak.