New Stevedoring & Shore Handling Policy for all Major Ports from August

Ministry of Shipping-indianbureaucracy
Ministry of Shipping-indianbureaucracy

Ministry of Shipping will implement a new Stevedoring and Shore Handling Policy for all Major Ports from 31st July, 2016.

The existing Stevedoring Agents will have to switch over to the new Stevedoring and Shore Handling Scheme from that date and charge the ceiling tariff rate fixed. If they do not switch over to the new scheme, the licence shall be terminated by the Port Trusts by giving due notice as envisaged in the Regulations. The Ports shall ensure that migration to the new Stevedores & Shore Handling Scheme is done by following the statutory provisions under the existing Regulations.

All existing contracts applicable to Stevedoring and Shore Handling operations would be allowed exemption till the date of expiry of the contract or 31st July, 2017, whichever date is earlier.  As an example, Haldia Dock Complex had introduced Stevedoring licences for two years from April, 2015 and is valid till March, 2017 through an auction process. Therefore, the new Stevedoring and Shore Handling Scheme will be made applicable after expiry of the existing Scheme i.e. from April, 2017.

 Stevedoring and Shore Handling Charges

TAMP shall notify the normative tariff for Stevedoring and Shore Handling activities for the Major Ports based on a set of Guidelines to be issued to TAMP. This tariff shall be ceiling tariff. With regard to Kamarajar Port, the Board of Directors may fix the same. In case of any change in Role for TAMP in future, Boards of Major Ports will fix and notify the Rates based on the performance norms in the Major Port as per Berthing Policy Guidelines. This will also apply to Mumbai Port and Haldia where stevedoring is carried out by the Ports.

All port customers will be notified on the ceiling tariffs set for Stevedoring and Shore Handling activities. The tariff will be mandatorily displayed on the Port website.

The port will appoint a nodal officer responsible for monitoring of Stevedoring and Shore Handling tariffs. The officer will be responsible for handling all complaints on violation of Stevedoring and Shore Handling ceiling tariff.

The Port Trusts should be liberal in issuing licenses to Stevedoring and Shore Handling agents. All eligible agents would be issued licences for Stevedoring and Shore Handling operations to ensure maximum competition. As competition increases, the cost of transaction to the trade will decrease and the quality of services will also improve.

The Port Trusts may charge a royalty as the licence fee for the Stevedoring and Shore-handling licences. The Port Trust may fix a per Metric Tonne royalty rate from all agents. No discrimination will be made among the Stevedoring and Shore-handling agents on the royalty licence fee.

License for Stevedores & Shore Handling Agents

Port Trusts shall frame & notify regulations for licensing of Stevedoring and Shore Handling Agents instead of only Stevedores as at present. The Major Port Trusts shall host the Stevedoring and Shore Handling regulations in their web site and any eligible firm which fulfils the eligibility criteria can apply for license at any time on-line along with requisite documents. The stevedoring and shore handling licenses shall be issued by the ports to the firms fulfilling the criteria.

It shall be a Company registered under Companies Act or a partnership firm or any other legal entity.  It shall deposit security amount of at least Rs. 5 lakhs to meet any contingency which shall be refunded without interest after adjusting the claims, if any, when the licensee ceases to operate.

The Stevedoring and Shore Handling agent shall undertake to provide equipment/gear required for both the operations as specified by the Port Trust Board.

The Stevedoring and Shore Handling agents shall undertake to employ at least 6 supervisory personnel with minimum two years of cargo handling/ stowage experience for undertaking both the functions. Their profiles have to be enclosed along with the application.

The fee for issue of license shall be on payment of a minimum application fee of Rs. 50,000, which may be revised from time to time by the Port Trust Board.

Major Port Trusts have to ensure that adequate competition prevails in Stevedoring and Shore Handling activities in their ports.

Performance criteria

Productivity norms for the Stevedore and Shore Handling agents shall be calculated on the basis of Berthing Policy by all Ports. Performance based penalty  and  incentives shall be enforced in accordance with the Berthing Policy. All Port trusts shall re-assess the penalty bands and/or incentive bands in the frequency as prescribed by the Berthing Policy.

Daily performance report in the prescribed format shall be submitted by the Stevedoring & Shore Handling agent to the Traffic Department online. Performance of the agent in terms of productivity achieved will be reviewed by the Port Chairman every month. The monthly performance summary capturing productivity achieved by the respective agents will be published on the Port website to ensure transparency to the customers.

Licenses of agents failing to meet productivity norms for an average over a period of 3 months can be revoked by the Port Authority. The personnel deployed in Stevedoring & Shore Handling activities shall be trained in modern methods of cargo handling for improving the productivity, efficiency and safety.


Stevedoring includes loading and unloading and stowage of cargo in any form on board the vessels in Ports. Shore Handling includes arranging and receiving the cargo to/from the hook point, inter modal transport from wharf to stackyard and vice-versa and also receiving and delivering of cargo from/to wagons/trucks.

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