The share of container shipments to the overall cargo handled by Indian ports is projected to rise to 25 per cent at the end of the financial year 2018-19.
A report by CARE Ratings says POL (Petroleum, Oil & Lubricants) and container shipments would continue to maintain its lead in the sector.
The share of both POL and container shipments to overall traffic at ports is on an upswing. During the first six months of FY18, POL cargo’s share to overall volumes stood at 34.01 per cent, marking a 7 per cent increase over last year’s share of 27 per cent in the same period. Likewise, until September-end, containers accounted for around 20.22 per cent of net volumes, as against a share of 19.6 per cent in FY17.
Major ports in the country are already ramping up container-handling capacity, despite sluggish movement in the global container shipping and freight segments in the past two years. The cargo container handling of ports in the country is expected to reach 25 million twenty tonne equivalent units (TEUs) by 2020-21, from its current capacity of 13 million TEUs. Non-major ports are set to add higher capacities in this segment.
Globally, container movement is expected to recover over the next two to three years. A pick-up is also expected in the containerisation of a wider variety of cargo in India, as handling and transportation become faster and easier.
With the Sagarmala programme aiming to increase the depth of major ports to reduce time on trans-shipping of goods, the ports would be able to handle new generation mega vessels over the next two to three years.
During the April-September period in FY18, major ports recorded a 3.2 per cent growth in cargo handling, rising from 316 million tonnes to 326 million tonnes.
Cochin Port logged the highest growth in cargo handling at 19.62 per cent, followed by Kolkata (including Haldia), New Mangalore and Paradip ports.
In terms of cargo volumes, the Kandla port had the highest share at 16.33 per cent, after handling 53.29 million tonnes of cargo until September-end.
Together, the five major ports of Kandla, Paradip, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai and Visakhapatnam handled 60 per cent of the major port traffic.
The report predicts a recovery in coal traffic at major ports during the remaining six months of FY18. Coal traffic declined as imports fell, pulling down the share of coal to overall cargo to 20.2 per cent at the end of September, from 23.4 per cent in FY17. Read More
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