Mundra Port, India’s top container gateway, continues to ramp up its ocean service network reach.
Dubai-based shortsea operator Aladin Express has introduced a second string to its regional operations by connecting Mundra to the Persian Gulf region.
The new service, branded as the Gulf-India Express 2 (GIX2), has the following port rotation: Mundra, King Abdulaziz Port, Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Hamad Port, Jebel Ali and Mundra.
It complements the GIX loop that Aladin Express began in April, linking Mundra to Sohar, Jebel Ali, Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah.
“The GIX service provides another swift and efficient product for customers between the fast-growing and vibrant emerging economies of India and the Middle East,” the company said.
Mundra has seen strong growth, powered by significant capacity expansion and aggressive carrier relationship strategies by the port owner Adani Group. The private port has five container terminals, including two facilities operated jointly with CMA CGM Group and MSC Group.
Transshipment loads handled by MSC and CMA CGM represent a sizeable portion of Mundra’s volumes.
April-June quarter combined container throughput at Mundra hit 1.65 million TEUs, outpacing the 1.48 million TEUs handled by Nhava Sheva/JNPT, according to available data.
“Q1 Financial Year 2022-23 has been the strongest quarter in APSEZ’s [Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone] history, with a record cargo volume and highest ever quarterly EBITDA,” said APSEZ CEO Karan Adani in a statement. “This is an 11% jump on a robust performance in the corresponding quarter last year that witnessed the post-Covid demand surge.”
He further noted, “The company continued this strong performance in July and recorded 100 MMT of cargo through-put in the initial 99 days of FY23, a feat never achieved before.”
Adani went on add, “Our strategy of connecting port gate to customer gate through an integrated utility model is starting to yield results.
We are confident of achieving our full-year guidance of 350-360 MMT cargo volumes.”
Mundra is roughly 300 nautical miles from the Nhava Sheva harbour, also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA). Efficiency advantages on the back of modern infrastructure and dedicated rail-highway connectivity have made Mundra an attractive port of call for carriers and northern India hinterland shippers.
While Nhava Sheva users have had to deal with sporadic void calls from some of the major services, Mundra hasn’t reported any sailing disruptions in recent weeks.