Technological advancement for modernization of major ports and reforms for enhancing ease of doing business are driving and sustaining the growth trend line at India’s major ports. The country’s 12 major ports together handled 273.96 Million Tonnes of cargo between April to August, 2017 as against 265.31 Mn Tonnes handled during the corresponding period of previous year, an overall growth of 3.26%.Seven Ports (Kolkata, Paradip, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai and JNPT) registered positive growth in traffic during the period April to August 2017.
Cargo traffic handled at Major Ports:
The highest growth was registered by Cochin Port (19.99%), followed by New Mangalore (13.26%), Paradip (12.57%), Kolkata [incl. Haldia] (11.45%) and JNPT(6.18%)
Cochin Port growth was mainly due to increase in traffic of POL (27.99%) and Containers (12.79%).
In Kolkata Port, overall growth was positive i.e. 11.45%. Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) registered positive growth of 19.08%, mainly due to increase in iron ore traffic.
During the period April to August, 2017, Kandla Port handled the highest volume of traffic i.e. 43.99 Million tonnes (16.06% share), followed by Paradip with 40.37 Million Tonnes (14.74% share), JNPT with 27.54 Million Tonnes (10.05% share), Mumbai with 25.84 Million Tonnes (9.43% share), and Visakhapatnam with 25.45 Million Tonnes (9.29% share). Together, these five ports handled around 60% of Major Port Traffic.
Commodity-wise percentage share of POL was maximum i.e. 34.00%, followed by Container (20.17%), thermal & Steam Coal (12.82%), Other Misc. Cargo (12.12%), Coking & Other Coal (7.49%), Iron Ore & Pellets (6.84%), Other Liquid (4.29%), Finished Fertilizer (1.17%) and FRM (1.10%).
The RFID tagging at gates has been implemented at all ports. This enables seamless entry-exist of trucks and in-port movement to optimize cargo flow, besides enhancing security. Trucks as well as drivers’ entry-exist is recorded using RFID card system doing away with paperwork thus reducing human interface. This is one of the steps taken in order to benchmark major ports with globally renowned ports.
The Ministry has also been proactively undertaking legislative reforms to weed out old obsolete laws and enhancing connectivity of ports to improve their efficiency under its Sagarmala Programme.
With India striving to improve its manufacturing competitiveness with Make in India, the Govt of India is leaving no stone unturned to make ports the drivers of socio- economic change and aid long term growth trajectory of the economy. The resounding success of IPO of Cochin Shipyard Ltd is one such example of the positive investor sentiments. The issue got oversubscribed 76 times. Recently the RBI report has also acknowledged higher growth in cargo traffic as well as efficiency gains measured in turnaround time at ports which is helping in transforming Indian economy.