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India’s major ports’cargo handling up 6% to 72 million tonnes in May

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NEW DELHI : According to provisional and advance estimates data released by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways for April-May 2024-25, cargo handled at major ports increased by 4.02 per cent year-on-year (Y-o-Y) to 139.3 mt. Whereas cargo handling at India’s major ports was up by 6 per cent in May to 72 million tonnes (mt), buoyed by a 7.3 per cent rise in overseas cargo handling, even as several global factors have constrained supply chains, especially in Asia.

While experts and reports suggest that the current congestion at several Asian ports has benefitted Indian ports in the form of spillover transshipment cargo reaching Indian ports, it remains unclear whether major ports have benefitted from this. 

In comparison, cargo volumes grew by only 2 per cent in April, and around 4.4 per cent through 2023-24.

Major ports are those owned by the central government through the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, while non-major ports are owned by state governments and private players.

In May, crude oil and petroleum, oils and lubricants (POL) products accounted for 29 per cent of the total cargo volumes and registered a near 7 per cent growth. While foodgrains accounted for a smaller base, their movement increased nearly 270 per cent to 431,000 mt.

After a tumultuous 2023-24, Gujarat’s Deendayal Port Authority (DPA) is looking to stage a comeback as a major port with the highest cargo handling.

In May, the port’s overseas cargo volumes rose by nearly a fourth (23 per cent) to reach 11.8 mt. It also handled 18 per cent of total major port volumes in the same month. 

Amid concerns over the port failing to compete with its peers in the state such as Mundra Port, Pipavav Port, and others owned by private companies, the DPA has been looking to recapture some of its lost ground.

Earlier this year, it announced incentives and concessions to improve its cargo volumes under a new scheme – Strategic Action to Aid Growth and Rewards. The scheme will provide concessions regarding wharfage, berth hire charges, prioritisation of vessels, among other measures. Container cargo, in terms of tonnage, saw negligible growth in May across India’s 12 major ports, but the units of twenty-foot containers have grown by 5 per cent in the past month.

Source : Business Standard

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