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Ports in India

April, 2013


Indian port sector facilitates access to one of the most efficient mediums of transportation for the Indian economy; especially when it comes to transfer of bulky goods across long distances. Currently, the 13 major ports in India handle 63 per cent of the seaborne traffic, while the non-major ports handle the remaining 36 per cent capacity.

The Indian Shipping Ministry has envisaged National Maritime Agenda 2010-20 which aims to increase the total port capacity to 3, 300 million tonne (MT) from the current 1, 200 MT, needing an estimated investment of Rs 2.9 lakh crore (US$ 53.47 billion). In order to give the sector a major impetus, the Government has also allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under the automatic route, allowed income tax incentives as per Income Tax Act, 1961; standardised bidding documents besides enhancing delegation of financial powers to the Shipping ministry and streamlined security clearance procedures.

Key Statistics

  • During April-February 2013, total cargo handled at major ports in the country stood at 498 MT
  • There were 32 projects awarded by the ministry in 2012-13 that will add an annual capacity of 136.75 MT across the Indian port segment; entailing an investment of Rs 6, 765.63 crore (US$ 1.25 billion)

Recent Developments

  • State-owned Kerala State Industrial Enterprises (KSIE) has set up a container freight station at Kalamassery in order to harness growing business opportunities from the International Container Transhipment Terminal at Vallarpadam. The Rs 25 crore (US$ 4.61 million)-facility has an 80,000 sq ft customs-bonded cargo handling centre to manage export and import operations and can handle 1,000 containers at a time. It is well equipped with all modern facilities for the security and smooth operations of the freight station in accordance with international standards
  • In a bid to expand its presence in the African region, the Essar group is planning to set up a 10 MT-port in Mozambique, at a cost of US$ 275 million. A port in Essar’s African portfolio would add to its basket of many businesses in the continent. The Group holds 50 per cent interest in the Kenya Petroleum Refinery at Mombassa while it also has telecom operations in Kenya under the brand name Yu, with over three million subscribers
  • The Andhra Pradesh Government is planning to set up a dedicated truck terminal and logistics hub in Nellore district in order to cater to the logistics requirement in the Bangalore-Chennai-Krishnapatnam port freight corridor. The project, which will be implemented by the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, with financial assistance from the Centre, is expected to become operational by 2014. The facility will come up at Venkatachalam with an estimated investment of Rs 40 crore (US$ 7.37 million)
  • The Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT) is undertaking three major projects, with an investment of Rs 1, 800 crore (US$ 31.90 million), involving extension of container terminal, mechanisation and up-gradation of existing facilities at iron ore handling complex (OHC) and West Quay North (WQ-7 and 8 berths). The cargo mix for WQ North berths will be for handling bulk cargoes like bauxite, gypsum, blast furnace slag, manganese and other categories of ore.
    VPT will be spending Rs 13, 940 crore (US$ 2.57 billion) on the several ongoing projects to increase its current capacity to 149 MT by 2019-20