Cargo traffic increase at Indian ports
Ports are economic and service provision units of a remarkable importance since they act as a place for the interchange of two transport modes, maritime and land, whether by rail or road. Therefore, the essential aspect of ports lies in their intermodal nature. India has a coast-line of around 7517 Kms with 13 major ports and 199 non-major ports along the coast-line and sea-islands.
Cargo Traffic at Indian Ports
During April November 2012, major and non-major ports in India handled a total cargo throughput of 623.05 MT reflecting an increase of 2.81 % over the same period last year. There is marginal deceleration in growth of cargo handled at major ports from 1.33 % in April-November 2011 to (-) 2.88 % in April November 2012. However, the growth at non-major ports is encouraging. As compared to growth of 9 % in April November 2011, it has reached 12 % (estimated) in the corresponding period in 2012.
Out of 12 major ports, cargo handling at 6 ports is showing positive growth, among which, growth in throughput at Ennore was the highest at 19.82%, followed by Kandla (14.76%), New Mangalore (12.48%), Mumbai (9.14%), V O Chidambaranar (1.99%) and marginal increase at Cochin at 0.54%. In contrast, six ports have shown a contraction in cargo growth, ranging from 40.46% to 1.76% in ports viz. Mormugao (-40.46%), Visakhapatnam (-17.72%), Kolkata (-15.23%), Chennai (-6.00%), Paradip (-2.48%) and JNPT (-1.76%).
Commodity-wise Cargo Traffic at Major Ports
The marginal decrease of 2.88% in the cargo throughput in the major ports during April – November 2012 over the corresponding period during 2010-11 is mainly due to decline in exports in Iron ore to the tune of 53.38% due to restriction imposed by the Government on the Iron ore mining activity which is followed by the contraction in import of fertilisers and fertiliser raw materials in the major ports by 24.34%. The energy commodities viz. Coal and POL are showing an impressive growth of 17.99% and 3.48% respectively. The other general traffic increased by 7.19%. The container traffic both in terms of tonnage and twenty equivalent units is almost static. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust continued to be the leading container handling port in the country with a share of about 48% followed by Chennai (25%) and the remaining share of 27% is handled by the other major ports excepting Ennore.
Cargo Traffic at Non-major Ports
During the eleventh five year plan (2007-12), the traffic at non-major ports increased at an annual rate of close to 14.75 per cent. Non-major ports handled more than 39 percent of the total maritime freight traffic of the country during 2011-12. The growth in cargo handled at non-major ports has been facilitated by sustained growth in non-major ports located in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, aided by substantial increase in the cargo traffic of coal, containers, building materials and fertilizers. The growing importance of non-major ports in handling cargo traffic has helped alleviate the congestion at major ports. Gujarat accounted for around three fourth of the total traffic handled by non-major ports followed by Andhra Pradesh (13 per cent), Maharashtra (6 percent) and Goa (4 percent). Four maritime States namely Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh together accounted for close to 96 per cent of the total traffic handled by the non-major ports in the current year.
Efficiency at ports has an important bearing on the transaction cost of the shipping lines. Major ports have improved their efficiency of operation particularly in terms of turnaround time (TRT). TRT is the total time spent by a ship at the ports from its entry until its departure. Average TRT for all major ports improved from 8.10 days in 1990-91 to 4.47 days in 2011-12. During April-September 2012, the TRT at 4.15 was lower compared to 4.80 days in the corresponding period of the last year with a range between 1.54 days at Cochin Port to 6.27 days at Kandla Port.
You can find more information in the relevant articleIndia: Performance of Major Ports Improved