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In FY20, major ports in India handled 704.82 million tonnes of cargo traffic, implying a CAGR of 2.74% during FY16-20.

Shipping Industry & Ports in India

    Last updated on Dec, 3 2021

India has 12 major ports and around 205 non-major ports. In FY20, major ports in India handled 704.82 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic, implying a CAGR of 2.74% during FY16-FY20. Cargo traffic at non-major ports reached 447.21 MT in FY20 (until December 2019). In August 2021, cargo traffic handled by India’s major ports reached 57.59 MT, an 11.43% increase over the 51.68 MT recorded in August 2020.

India’s key ports had a capacity of 1,534.91 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in FY20.

In FY21, all key ports in India handled 672.60 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic.

Non-major ports accounted for 46% of the total cargo traffic at Indian ports in FY21, due to a significant shift of traffic from the major ports to the non-major ports.

Merchandise exports reached US$ 290.63 billion in FY21.

In September 2021, India’s merchandise exports grew 21.3% year-on-year to US$33.44 billion, this was 28.5% higher than pre-COVID levels of September 2019.

In October 2021, the country’s merchandise exports rose by 40.54% year-on-year to reach US$15.13 billion. The centre has set the exports target at US$400 billion in FY22. 

The Government of India has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% under the automatic route for projects related to the construction and maintenance of ports and harbours. Ports received a cumulative FDI of US$ 1.64 billion between April 2000 and March 2021. A 10-year tax holiday is extended to enterprises engaged in the business of developing, maintaining, and operating ports, inland waterways, and inland ports. The Government has also initiated National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP), an initiative to develop the maritime sector with a planned outlay of US$ 11.8 billion. In Union Budget 2020-21, the total allocation for the Ministry of Shipping was Rs. 1,702.35 crore (US$ 233.48 million).

The key ports are expected to deliver seven projects worth more than Rs. 2,000 crore (US$ 274.31 million) on a public-private partnership basis in FY22.

The Finance Minister proposed to double the ship recycling capacity of ~4.5 million light displacement tonnes (LDT) by 2024; this is expected to generate an additional ~1.5 lakh employment opportunities in India.

In Union Budget 2021, the government announced subsidy funding worth Rs. 1,624 crore (US$ 222.74 million) to Indian shipping companies to encourage merchant ship flagging in the country.

in February 2021, the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was passed by the Parliament of India. The bill aims to decentralise decision-making and reinforce excellence in major port governance.

As per studies conducted under the Sagarmala Programme, cargo traffic at ports is expected to be ~2,500 MMTPA by 2025, while the current cargo handling capacity of ports is only 2,406 MMTPA. A roadmap has been prepared for increasing the Indian port capacity to 3,300+ MMTPA by 2025 to cater to the growing traffic. This includes port operational efficiency improvement, capacity expansion of existing ports and new port development. There are 206 port modernisation projects worth Rs. 78,611 crore (US$ 10.71 billion). Of which, 81 projects worth Rs. 24,113 crore (US$ 3.29 billion) have been completed and 59 projects worth Rs. 24,288 crore (US$ 3.31 billion) are being implemented.

The Indian government announced that seven major ports worth US$ 274 million will commence operations under the public-private partnership model in 2021-22. Private sector investments in ports have steadily increased over the last five years, touching an all-time high of US$ 2.35 billion by 2020.

Between April 2021 and August 2021 period, cargo handled at India's 12 state-owned major ports recorded an increase of 19.54% from 245.289 mt the previous year to 293.226 million tonnes (mt).

APSEZ (Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone) plans to become the world's largest private port company by 2030 and carbon neutral by 2025.

In June 2021, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ministry of Civil Aviation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop sea plane services in India.

In July 2021, the Marine Aids to Navigation Bill 2021 was passed by the Parliament, incorporating global best practices, technological developments and India's international obligations in this field.

In July 2021, the Gujarat government provided an approval to build a new jetty worth ~Rs. 192 crore (US$ 25.77 million) at Navlakhi Port, which has been operating since 1939.

In November 2020, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi renamed the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

In October 2020, the Ministry of Shipping announced plans to develop a National Logistics Portal (Marine) with end-to-end logistics solutions to help exporters, importers and service providers.

In August 2020, the government announced its plan to invest Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) to build transshipment port at the Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal to provide shippers an alternative ports in the region. The Transshipment port will enable big ships to anchor and raise India's share in maritime trade due to its proximity to the East-West international shipping route.

Indian Ports Industry Report (September, 2021)
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