Cargo handling at major ports saw an over 9 per cent increase, y-o-y, for the April-January period (10MFY23) to 647 million tonnes (mt) compared with 592 mt in the same period last year.

Container traffic across the dozen major ports however saw a little over one percent increase to 9,454 twenty–foot equivalent units (9,337 TEUs); while in terms of tonnage, container traffic stood at 141 mt (139 mt), up 1.30 per cent y-o-y, according to the Indian Ports Association data.

The major ports include Kolkata and Haldia Dock Systems (together known as Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port), Paradip, Vishakhapatnam, Kamarajar (or Ennore), Chennai, VO Chidambaranar, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Deendayal.

Among these, Deendayal Port saw a 8 per cent rise in cargo handling y-oy to 116 mt (18 per cent of total) followed by Paradip – up 17 per cent traffic growth of 110 mt (17 per cent of the total cargo traffic) and JNPA that handled 69 mt of cargo, up 9 per cent.

Mormugao was the only major port that saw a decline in cargo traffic by 8 per cent y-o-y to 13.8 mt. Cargo handled for the same period last year was 15 mt. The fall came primarily because of a 34 per cent fall in shipments of iron ore at 1.7 mt (vs 2.6 mt)

Higher coal and crude handling

The increase in cargo traffic came on the back of higher shipments across categories like coal and petroleum & other crude products.

Thermal coal handled increased nearly 36 per cent to 107.4 mt ( 78.9 mt); while coking coal shipments rose 20 per cent-odd to 49 mt (41 mt).

Paradip port handled the highest coal and coking coal cargo of 39.8 mt (up 67 per cent y-o-y) and 11.6 mt (up 1 per cent), respectively. Ennore and Deendayal ports also saw increase in thermal coal cargo by 20 per cent and 8 per cent to 18.56 mt and 18.39 mt, respectively.

Apart from Paradip, other ports that saw coking coal shipments increase include Kolkata and Haldia ports, up 76 per cent and 64 per cent to 2.3 mt and 17.5 mt, respectively. Vizag port saw a 7 per cent increase to 4.4 mt; followed by Chidambaranar that saw such shipments rise 8 per cent to 4.3 mt.

Petroleum and other crude products handling saw a 7 per cent rise in April – Jan to 195 mt. Traffic handled in the segment last year was 183 mt.

Deendayal port witnessed the highest shipments at 52 mt, up 4 per cent; followed by Mumbai and Paradip ports, each handling around 31 mt of petroleum and crude products, up 6–11 per cent.