New Delhi: Technological advancement under the modernisation programme and reforms for enhancing the ease of doing business in the major ports of the country have enhanced the effective capacity of India’s major ports. Twelve major ports of the country together handled 273.96 million tonnes of cargo between April and August this year as against 265.31 million tonnes handled during the corresponding period of the previous year. This is an overall growth of 3.26%.

Source: Indian Port Association

Seven Ports (Kolkata, Paradip, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai and JNPT) registered a positive growth in traffic during the period April-August.

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 the 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 Fertiliser (1.17%) and FRM (1.10%).

Source: Indian Port Association

The RFID tagging at gates has been implemented at all ports. This enables seamless arrivals and exits of trucks and in-port movement to optimise cargo flow, besides enhancing security. The identity of trucks, as well as their drivers’ entries and exits, are recorded using the 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 of Shipping 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.

Source: Indian Port Association

With India striving to improve its manufacturing competitiveness with Make in India, the Union government 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,” a PIB report reads.

Recently, the RBI report has acknowledged the higher growth in cargo traffic and efficiency gains measured in the turnaround time at ports, which is helping transform the Indian economy.