Cyclone Biparjoy stifles India’s major ports

Cyclone Biparjoy stifles India’s major ports

Operations at key ports along Gujarat’s coastline have been severely hampered as a result of Cyclone Biparjoy intensifying over the Arabian Sea during this past weekend.

Averaging a wind speed of between 80-90 miles per hour, Cyclone Biparjoy has earned a category 1 status.

Several of India’s leading ports have been impacted in the wake of the cyclone, according to local media.

Vessel operations at Tuna Port have been suspended, while India’s largest commercial port, Mundra, has prohibited vessels from anchoring or drifting around the port until further notice.

Adani Ports commented: “All ships anchored are advised to take all necessary steps for their safety, which include steaming out to high seas,” reported local media.   

“Weather forecasts for Cyclone Biparjoy predict strong winds, rain and squalls in Gulf of Kutch.”

Operational suspensions, as a precautionary measure, have also been levied at one of India’s largest ports, Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT), while vessel operators have been instructed to evacuate berths immediately at Kandla Port.

“Due to strong and gusting winds, the movement of container vessels will be restricted,” the JNPT port authority said.

READ: Adani Ports breaks cargo volume monthly record

Categorised as a “very severe storm”, the cyclone is set to make landfall between Gujarat and Karachi in Pakistan on 15 June, with a maximum wind speed of 125-135 kilometre per hour (78-84 miles per hour), according to officials in both countries.

State authorities have initiated evacuation efforts in Pakistan to relocate 80,000 citizens who are in the path of the approaching cyclone, Aljazeera reported.

Box Ports Pipavav and Hazira have also issued operational suspensions in wake of the current trajectory of the cyclone.

In a customer advisory, APM Terminals (APMT) Pipavav said: “Long persistent swell is making the marine and quayside operations extremely difficult and challenging.

“Weather forecast over the next 48-72 hours indicate a wind speed of 30 knots and over, around Pipavav… This too poses a serious risk to the operations.”

“Pipavav port will suspend all its Quay side operations,” APMT Pipavav added.

READ: APMT Mumbai achieves top performing terminal ranking in India

Such closures may further aggravate the pre-existing supply chain issues that APMT Pipavav suffered prior to the cyclone, where the port was forced to pause operations and enter a force majeure due to strong winds at the end of May that led to power outages.

To mitigate such issues, cargo was rerouted to Mundra Port, thereby jeopardising the dependability of carrier services, according to local media.

READ: DP World wins bid to develop mega-container terminal at India’s Deendayal Port

Amid the plethora of weather-related, port disruptions incurred over the past week, shipping companies have issued warnings of cargo delays.

Speaking on the current situation at Mundra Port, shipping liner Maersk said: “All operations have been suspended and the port is closed until further notice.

“The impacted vessels include CMA CGM Kribi, EM Astoria 322S, MSK Pelepas 322S, Maersk Guayaquil 323W and BFAD Pacific VOY which are facing delays.”

Mundra and JNPT combine to account for approximately 65 per cent of India’s containerised trade.

Significant supply chain consequences could therefore follow when either of these ports suffer any kind of operational disturbance.

Earlier this year, a large container feeder lost stability tipped on its side at a private jetty on DP World’s MICT Terminal at Mundra Port, losing approximately 20 containers.

More recently, the Port of Port Hedland reopened after Cyclone Ilsa, a category 5 tropical cyclone, skirted past the port with minimal damage.

Daily Email Newsletter

Sign up to our daily email newsletter to receive the latest news from Port Technology International.

Supplier Directory

Find out how to get listed

Webinar Series

Find out how to attend

Latest Stories

Cookie Policy. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.