New Delhi 14/NOV/2014: The number of export and import containers moving through Major Ports in India expanded 7.34 percent year-over-year from April to October, the first seven fiscal months, as the Government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making port development a major priority.The 12 state-owned ports cumulatively handled 4.66 million 20-foot-equivalent units, up from 4.34 million TEUs for the same period in 2013. Containerized cargo tonnage increased 5.44 percent to 70.2 million tons. In less than six months in office Modi has made infrastructure development a top priority for his new Government, urged all the State Government authorities to join the port-led development program that aims to upgrade the countrys transport systems. The Prime Minister last week held a meeting with senior officials to review connectivity-related infrastructure issues, and called on them to fast-track all such projects in coordination with state agencies. The development vision of various connectivity related infrastructure sectors should be inter-related and closely coordinated, Modi said.
If there is no delay in decision-making at the highest level, it should now be possible to achieve all infrastructure targets. The move come amid robust container growth. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Nhava Sheva), the largest container gateway in India, saw year-over-year growth in volume of 10 percent in the seven-month period, at 2.6 million TEUs, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total volumes shipped via the major ports. JNPTs throughput growth comes in spite of cargo diversions spurred by months-long landside congestion and recent vessel schedule disruptions resulting from an equipment upgrade involving the installation of three new super-post-Panamax rail-mounted quay cranes at the state-owned facility. The crane replacement process is expected to run through the end of the year.
In the fiscal year-to-date, container handling at Chennai, the second-largest box complex, totaled 922,000 TEUs, up 5 percent from 880,000 TEUs a year earlier. Of the other main container ports, Tuticorins throughput rose 10 percent to 320,000 TEUs; Kolkatas volume climbed 8 percent to 366,000 TEUs; and Vallarpadam Terminal at Cochin increased volume to 216,000 TEUs from 210,000 TEUs. At Visakhapatnam, which suffered a week-long shutdown last month following Cyclone Hudhud, container movements declined to 151,000 TEUs from 152,000 TEUs for the same period in 2013. In terms of overall tonnage, major ports handled 336 million tons of cargo from April through October, up 4.64 percent year-over-year, with Kandla leading the way with throughput of 54.7 million tons, followed by Paradip, at 41.4 million tons; JNPT, at 37.5 million tons; Mumbai, at 35.3 million tons; Visakhapatnam, at 34.3 million tons; and Chennai, at 31.2 million tons.