Container segment is expected to fuel the next
stage of growth at Indian ports. Major ports in the country are already ramping
up container handling capacity despite sluggish global container and freight
movement in the past two years.
A report by Care Ratings has pegged the cargo
container handling of ports in the country to reach 25 million TEUs (Twenty
Tonne equivalent units) by 2020-21 from the current 13 million TEUs. Non-major
ports in the private sector are set to add higher capacities in this segment.
“We expect the same (global container movement)
to recover globally over the next 2-3 years. We also expect a pick-up in
containerisation of a wider variety of cargo in India, since handling and
transportation becomes faster and easier,” the report stated.
With the Sagarmala programme aiming to increase
the depth of major ports so as to cut time on trans-shipping of goods, the
ports would be able to handle new generation mega vessels over the next two to
Presently, petroleum and its products account for
25-30 per cent of the import-export volume of the country. The government
intends to double the petroleum refining capacity to meet the domestic demand
and also augment exports. Current refining capacity stands at 230 million
tonnes per annum (mtpa).
The increased refining capacity is expected to
cater to regional demand especially petroleum exports to countries like Bhutan,
Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL)
segment is poised to be the major growth segment for the overall growth of
cargo capacity handled by ports.
Capacity utilization of six major ports on the
Eastern Coast was 56.2 per cent in 2016-17, a slide of 3.4 per cent compared
with FY17. Similarly, major ports on the western coast reported capacity
utilisation of 65.9 per cent in last fiscal, a slump of 3.3 per cent.
Chennai port is the leader in Container trade in
the East Coast followed by VO Chidambaranar port,Tuticorin and Visakhapatnam in
the government sector. Krishnapatnam and Adani port at Kattupalli near Chennai
are the leaders among the private ports. JNPT in the west coast is the largest
Container port in the country in the government sector and Mundha port in the
private sectors leads the show in the private sector both in the West Coast
“During 2016-17, major ports implemented 100
million tonnes of capacity addition. We expect the capacity utilization to
remain stable during the current year. Fall in import of commodities like coal
would be compensated by the increased export of iron ore, zinc and steel”, the
During the past three year, technology
improvements such as new container terminal projects at JNPT, Kamrajar port in
Tamil Nadu, new cargo terminals, improving rail connectivity and implementation
of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system across ports has helped improve
the efficiency and handling capacity. The first phase of the Container terminal at Kamarajar port, Ennore near Chennai was declared open by the
Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari three months ago.Adanis who have
commissioned the terminal is yet to
bring in a ship.
Major ports continued to witness growth in
operating surplus backed by the steady increase in operating margins. The 12
major ports posted a combined net surplus of Rs 2820 crore in 2016-17 on income
of Rs 11,894.5 crore from handling 647.6 million tonnes of cargo.