Country’s top ports witness decline in traffic for tenth month

Cargo traffic at 12 major ports dropped by 7.44% to 542.13 million tonnes (MT) during April-January this fiscal, compared with 585.73 MT in the year-ago period.

India’s top-12 ports witnessed a considerable decline in cargo traffic for the tenth straight month in January to 542.13 million tonnes (MT), according to ports’ apex body IPA.

Cargo traffic at 12 major ports that are under the control of the Centre dropped by 7.44% to 542.13 million tonnes (MT) during April-January this fiscal, compared with 585.73 MT in the year-ago period.

Recently, Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the cargo traffic at 12 major ports declined considerably March onwards due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All ports, barring Paradip and Mormugao — which recorded 0.24% and 28.12% increase in cargo handling to 93.60 MT and 17.19 MT respectively, saw negative growth.

Cargo handling at Kamrajar Port (Ennore) nosedived 25.94% during April-January to 19.66 MT, while ports like Mumbai and Chennai saw their cargo volumes dropping by over 12% during the said period.

Cochin and V.O. Chidambaranar ports suffered a sharp decline of over 11%.

JNPT saw a decline of 9.76% in cargo volumes, while Deendayal Port Trust, New Mangalore and Kolkata ports saw over 6% drop in cargo volume. Cargo handling at Visakhapatnam slipped 4.36%.

India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V. O. Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, sharp declines were witnessed in the handling of containers, coal and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant), among other commodities.

These ports handle about 61% of the country’s total cargo traffic. They handled 705 MT of cargo last fiscal.

Mr. Mandaviya had told Parliament earlier that there was a considerable decline in the total traffic, containers traffic and other than containers traffic in March, April, May, June, July and August 2020, as compared to the corresponding months in 2019.

The Minister, however, had added that recovery has started since June 2020.

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