Logistics

Mundra Port bucks the trend, posts 16.7% growth in box traffic

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on December 14, 2012

Bright outlook: Tugs push a container vessel at the Adani-owned Mundra port .





Adani Group’s Mundra Port has registered a 16.7 per cent growth in containerised traffic handling for April-November on a year-on-year basis, bucking the gloomy trend in seen in all other key container handling ports such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Chennai and Pipavav.

Among these, the sharpest fall is recorded in APM Terminals’ Pipavav Port, a listed entity, which has recorded a 15.6 per cent drop in containers handled during the period.

SHRINKING TRADE

Container traffic at most of the ports have been hit by the slowdown in the country’s international trade. In US dollar terms, both exports and imports have registered a negative growth for the April-November period.

Non-oil imports during April-November - at $2,08,631.3 million – were lower by 7.07 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

BREAK-UP

Country’s exports for the period were at $1,89,222.20 million, down by 5.95 per cent year-on-year.

Mundra Port handled 1.94 million twenty feet equivalent units (TEUs) registering 16.7 per cent growth year-on-year for the eight month period this fiscal, while Pipavav handled 0.35 million TEU boxes during the period registered a 15.6 per cent dip year-on-year.

The JN Port handled about 2.8 million TEUs, showing a one per cent dip; while Chennai handled 1.04 million TEUs, reflecting 0.5 per cent dip. Box handling at the Kochi Port witnessed close to seven per cent drop during the period.

COLLATERAL GAINS

“Mundra is benefiting from the JN Port’s limitations such as congestion. Moreover, a major shipping line calling at Pipavav shifted to Mundra. Mundra has recently started operating its third container terminal,” said Shailesh Garg, Director, Drewry Consulting India.

“Also, traffic potential in the immediate hinterland of Mundra is stronger compared to other ports in Gujarat, which depend more on cargo from northern hinterland.

This is evident from the fact that around 60 per cent of containers at Pipavav are rail-based as against a 20-25 per cent range in Mundra and JNPT,” said Garg. Says Anand V. Sharma, Director, Mantrana Maritime Advisory, “From a pure geographical perspective, Mundra is located closer to the northern hinterland compared to JN Port and thus, has a natural lower distance advantage.

But, JNPT, being a large port and accounting for the largest container traffic in the country, has direct service of many shipping lines, who choose to call to JNPT due to large volume and economy of scale.”

“But as Mundra starts handling larger volumes, logistically and based purely on distance comparison, JNPT will begin losing out to container terminals in Gujarat, thus marking a reverse in trend,” says Sharma.

A slowdown a Pipavav can be partly explained by a Maersk service shifting to Mundra.

Earlier this year, Maersk Line/Safmarine - North Europe-Middle East-India service shifted to Mundra from Pipavav.

However, Pipavav might get back some of the incremental volume next year. “Pipavav is expanding its capacity to accommodate increasing traffic and this may assist in capturing part of future growth.

“We did expect Pipavav to hold on to its last year volumes, which it has not been able to. This may attributed to overall slowdown in the trade and competition from Mundra,” Garg said.

> mamuni.das@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 14, 2012

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