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October, 2011

Maritime Transport is a critical infrastructure for the social and economic development of a country. The Indian coastline comprises of 12 major ports and 187 minor ports. India ranks 16th among the maritime countries and has one of the largest merchant shipping fleet.

Around 95 per cent of India's foreign trade by volume and 70 per cent by value is transported through sea. Major ports account for 75 per cent of the total cargo by volume handled at the Indian Ports. Cargo volumes at the 12 ports controlled by the Union Government grew by 3.11 per cent in the first half of this fiscal, gathering pace from 2010-11. Between April and September 2011, the 12 ports loaded 279.73 million tonnes (MT) of cargo such as crude oil, petroleum products, iron ore, coal, containers and fertilisers, compared with the 271.29 MT of cargo handled in the same period last year, as per data compiled by the Indian Ports Association, a body representing the 12 ports.

The traffic handled at major ports is projected at 615.70 MT during 2011-12 as per National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP).

The traffic at non–major ports is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9 per cent from the present level of 288.8 MT to 1,269.5 MT by 2019-20, according to a press release by the Ministry of Shipping.

Major Investments

  • Trade between India and Dubai is expanding at a rapid pace and as one of the largest marine terminal operators in the Gulf region, DP World is a major facilitator and contributor to this growth. Trade between Dubai and India is also expected to increase, according to the state-owned port operator DP World
  • Belgium's Port of Antwerp plans to pick a stake in Essar Group's Hazira Port in Gujarat by the end of 2011. "We are exploring opportunities overseas to expand our footprint by sharing our expertise in port development and management through a newly-formed subsidiary. We have a strong belief in cooperation with India which has a huge potential and ambition to develop ports," according to Eddy Bruyninckx, Managing Director, Antwerp Port Authority
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has received the Government's approval to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) at its facility in Mumbai."The first phase of 750 acres has got the final clearance from the Government," as per L Radhakrishnan, Chairman, JNPT. The trust has also got the Government's approval to set up a fifth terminal at the port. The terminal, which will have a capacity of 8-10 million cubic metre, is likely to cost JNPT Rs 20,000 crore (US$ 4.11 billion), in addition to its plan to spend around Rs 1,500 crore (US$ 308.57 million) on dredging
  • The Board of trustees of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has awarded the contract for its fourth container terminal to the consortium of Singapore's PSA and the ABG Group in India. The project costing around Rs 6,700 crore (US$ 1.38 billion) will be the single largest foreign direct investment in the Indian port sector
  • Karaikal Port Pvt Ltd (KPPL), a subsidiary of Marg Constructions, has launched container handling services under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. This new facility will link the port to key overseas destinations and also domestic destinations like Visakhapatnam
  • Dhamra Port—developed by Dhamra Port Company Limited—a joint venture (JV) of Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro, will formally be commissioned soon. "We are still at the initial stages and we have plans to build total 11 berths in due course, according to Santosh Mohapatra, CEO, Dhamra Port
  • Vizhinjam Port owned by the Government of Kerala is raising more than Rs 1,600 crore (US$ 329.15 million) through bonds and institutional investors to develop India's deepest port that could even handle very large crude carriers
  • India has joined the global cruise line club with the country's first cruise ship, AMET Majesty, registered in Chennai with an Indian flag. It will offer locations in Asia such as Anadaman, Phuket, Mumbai, Goa, Lakshadweep, Kochi, Colombo and Maldives for the tourists. Three cruise terminals at a cost of Rs 480 crore (US$ 98.74 million), are being planned at Mormugao, Mumbai and Kochi
  • Steel pipe maker PSL Ltd is exploring options of entering port construction business. The company has also formed a subsidiary, PSL Infrastructure and Ports, for such forays. The firm also plans to invest up to Rs 500 crore (US$ 102.85 million) in building a jetty at Kandla Port in Gujarat, through the PPP route
  • After registering a 27.66 per cent growth in container traffic during 2010-11, the New Mangalore Port is now targeting 50 per cent growth in the current fiscal. “We are targeting to handle at least 60,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers during the current fiscal,” according to P Tamilvanan, Chairman, New Mangalore Port Trust

Many of the Indian maritime and logistics segments are growing very fast. For example, sectors like shipbuilding, inland logistics are growing very much, as per Jonne Hankimaa, MD, Cargotec India.