Major ports witnessed subdued growth in cargo during April-December of FY19 as key commodities like iron ore and raw fertilisers slid consistently in volumes.
Total cargo traffic shipped through major ports inched up only 3.77 per cent in this period. Ports of Mormugao, Mumbai and Chidambaranar showed de-growth of 27.52 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent respectively.
Iron ore cargo- pellets included, dipped 10.9 per cent in the period under review. Raw fertilizer shipments, too, fell 9.51 per cent. Major ports had to contend with tepid growth in cargo throughput despite gains made in coal and container shipments. Thermal or steam coal volumes were up 17 per cent while coking coal saw spike of 15 per cent. Container volumes rose by eight per cent both in tonnage and TEUs (twenty tonne equivalent units).
Major ports had a capacity of 1452 million tonnes (mt) at the end of 2017-18. Of this rated capacity, the ports handled 679.36 mt, marking a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.73 per cent between 2007-08 and 2017-18. Solid cargo contributes the largest share of all traffic handled at major ports followed by liquid cargo and containers.
A report by the India Brand Equity Foundation shows net profit at major ports had more than trebled from Rs 1150 crore in FY 13 to Rs 3413 crore in FY18. Operating margins of the major ports in the same period rose from 23 per cent to 44 per cent.
The 12 major ports in the country have also been identified under Sagarmala project for cargo handling till 2035. The project’s objective is to boost port led development and provide infrastructure for swift transportation of goods to and from ports at lower costs and higher efficiencies.
Ports are improving on various key parameters including turnaround time that has reduced from 107 hours to 64 hours between FY12 and FY 18.
The Government of India is targeting to make the country the first in the world to operate all 12 major domestic government ports on renewable energy. The government plans to install almost 200 Mw wind and solar power generation capacity by 2019 at the ports. The energy capacity could be ramped up to 500 Mw in future years.