Major ports in India recorded a growth of 5.1 per cent in traffic and together handled 288.4 million tons of cargo during the period April to August, 2018, according to a report on port performance released last week.
The ministry of shipping report says that, traffic handled by the 12 major ports in the corresponding period of April- August 2017 was 274.3 million tons.
As per the report, for the period from April-August 2018, nine ports registered positive growth in traffic. They were- Kolkata (including Haldia), Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Kamarajar, Chennai, Cochin, New Mangalore, JNPT and Deendayal (Kandla).
In terms of ranking, the Deendayal port topped in cargo traffic with 48.9 million ton of cargo handled during the four month period. On the other hand, the Mormugao port, Vasco, is ranked the last with only 8.1 tons of cargo handled in April-August period.
The second highest volume of traffic was by Paradip – 44.8 million tons, followed by JNPT- 29 million tons, Visakhapatnam- 26.9 million tons, Kolkata (including Haldia)- 25.4 million tons. The top five ports combined handled 61 per cent of the country’s port traffic.
The ministry of shipping report shows that, the highest growth in cargo traffic was by Kamarajar Port (17.2 per cent), followed by Deendayal Port (11.2 per cent), Paradip (10.9 per cent), Cochin (10.1 per cent and Kolkata (9.0 per cent).
In terms of commodity, the percentage share of POL products was maximum i.e. 33.1 per cent, followed by container 20.8 per cent, thermal & steam coal 15.4 per cent, other miscellaneous cargo 10.6 per cent, coking & other coal 7.7 per cent, iron ore & pellets 5.8 per cent, other liquid 4.4 per cent, finished fertilizer 1.3 per cent and FRM 0.9 per cent. .
Meanwhile, the Cochin port is expected to receive major attention in the coming months with a fourth cement terminal starting operations. It will reduce cement cost to users and also help in rebuilding Kerala after the floods
Expectations are of more cement to be transported through coastal shipping. The modal shift in transport of cement from road and rail to sea is another step towards promoting coastal shipping as cost-effective and environment-friendly means of transportation as envisaged under the Sagarmala programme of ministry of Shipping.
Cement being a high-volume, low-value product, lower-cost sea transport is very important as a game changer in logistics. With huge destruction that has occurred in the recent floods, the requirement of cement in re-building the state of Kerala is expected to increase. Coastal shipping of building material like cement is economic and will help rebuild Kerala after recent floods in a cost effective manner with lower logistic costs.