The country's 12 major ports recorded a marginal 0.98 per cent growth in cargo volumes at 524.02 million tonnes (MT) during the April-December period this year, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA).
The ports had handled 518.93 MT of cargo during the corresponding period of the last financial year.
India has 12 major ports -- Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V.O. Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).
While the handling of iron ore saw a 32.01 per cent jump to 39.36 MT during the period, thermal coal shipments declined by 17.08 per cent to 65.97 MT, the IPA data showed.
The 12 ports had handled 29.82 MT of iron ore and 79.55 MT of coal during the April-December period of the previous fiscal.
Handling of coking and other coal rose by 1.51 per cent to 42.39 MT during the nine months as compared to 41.76 MT in the corresponding period last fiscal.
Finished fertiliser volumes jumped 20.17 per cent but raw fertiliser volumes remained stagnant during the period.
Containers recorded a growth of 2.71 per cent in terms of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).
According to the figures, Deendayal port handled the highest traffic volume at 92.41 MT during the April-December period, followed by Paradip at 83.61 MT, Visakhapatnam at 53.53 MT, JNPT at 50.72 MT, Kolkata (including Haldia) at 47.09 MT, and Mumbai at 46.16 MT.
Chennai port handled 35.83 MT of cargo, while New Mangalore handled 27.60 MT.
The volume of seaborne cargo is essentially in the nature of derived demand and is mainly shaped by the levels and changes in both global and domestic activity.
These major ports handle about 60 per cent of the country's total cargo traffic.