Container movements at ports up 1.92% during April-October
Container movements at major government-run ports have increased marginally by 1.92% between April and October this year despite the continuous decline in India’s outbound shipments. According to the Federation of Indian Export Organsiations (FIEO), 12 major state-owned ports have collectively handled 4.76 million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) during April-October period, up 1.92% from last year’s 4.67 million TEUs. During the first seven months of 2015-16, two of India’s largest ports— Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) and Chennai Port – together accounted for about 80% of India’s total containerised cargo traffic moving through ports. Mumbai-based JNPT handled 2.61 million TEUs, up 0.3% from last year’s 2.6 million TEUs and Chennai Port, India’s second largest public container port, accounted for 934,000 TEUs, up 1.3% from that of last year. Container traffic at Tuticorin Port surged by11.5% to reach 375,000 TEUs, while Cochin Port witnessed an 8.7% growth to 236,000 TEUs during April-October 2015 over the corresponding period of last fiscal. Container volumes at Kolkata Port also registered a meager growth of about 3% during April-October 2014, touching 379,000 TEUs. FIEO President S C Ralhan pointed out that a growth in container traffic at major ports was anticipated, especially after the Shipping Ministry withdrew customs and excise duty on bunker fuel for Indian flag ships in order to make India an attractive transshipment destination. The ministry has also doubled port capacities to push India’s exports, which has fallen for the tenth straight month in September by 24.3% in value terms. “Major Indian ports are unlikely to meet their targets for fiscal 2015-16, which ends on March 31, 2016 and complimenting measures need to be taken to sustain exports,” Ralhan said. Recently, the government has taken several initiatives to transform India’s waterways and increase competitiveness of Indian products and companies in the world. Ralhan also suggested the government to learn from Sri Lanka, which gives incentives not only to domestic companies but also to those setting up their bases through Sri Lankan Investment Board.
November 14, 2015 | 3:59pm IST.