Container volumes at Jawahar Nehru Port dip to 5.03 million TEUs in FY20

P Manoj Mumbai | Updated on April 01, 2020 Published on April 01, 2020

File Photo   -  Bloomberg

India’s biggest container port loses market share to Mundra

Containers handled at state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) dipped to 5.03 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in FY20, from 5.133 million TEUs a year earlier, demonstrating that India’s biggest container gateway was hit by a combination of global and local slowdown that was further aggravated by the impact of coronavirus.

“The drop in volumes at JNPT is not good news,” said a port industry consultant. “It means the economy has slowed down even without the impact of coronavirus, whose impact will be felt in the coming months,” he added.

JNPT has five container terminals of which four are run by private entities while the fifth is run by the port trust itself.

Of the 5.03 million TEUs handled in FY20, Gateway Terminals India Pvt Ltd (GTIPL), the facility run by a joint venture between A P M Terminals Management B V and Container Corporation of India Ltd (Concor), emerged the top terminal yet again by handling 1.99 million TEUs, down from 2.01 million TEUs in FY19.

Bharat Mumbai Container Terminals Private Limited (BMCT), the facility run by Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd, handled 800,000 TEUs from 503,000 TEUs last year, posting the biggest growth among all the five terminals.

JNPCT, the container terminal run by the government-owned port authority, registered the biggest dip in volumes to 720,000 TEUs, from 1.04 million TEUs in FY19.

Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal Pvt Ltd (NSICT), the Dubai government-owned D P World’s first facility at JNPT and operating since 2000, handled 530,000 TEUs from 547,000 TEUs last year.

Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal Pvt Ltd (NSIGT), also run by D P World, handled 990,000 TEUs from 926,000 TEUs in FY19.

The positive is that JNPT handled over 5 million TEUs, for the second year running.

The total cargo (including containers) handled by JNPT during FY20 declined to  68.45 million tons (mt) from 70.71 mt last year.

“Crossing 5 million TEUs for a second-year running is a result of our efforts and the quality of service we provide at JNPT. The team’s perseverance, especially over the last couple of months, shows our commitment towards ensuring that trade doesn’t come to a standstill,” JNPT chairman Sanjay Sethi said.

But, the overall volume decline in JNPT shows that the state-owned port is losing market share to privately-run Mundra port in Gujarat.

“In addition to the economic slowdown and the coronavirus impact, JNPT continue to lose market share to Mundra port despite the latter having higher vessel and container charges,” said a second port industry expert.

The volume drop is also despite the capacity additions and productivity improvements at JNPT which also enjoys faster rail transits to/from the key hinterland market of National Capital Region (NCR) to the tune of several days compared to Mundra, he said.

“Rail pricing continues to be a key differentiator. With the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) connectivity projected to reach Mundra Port by the end of 2020, several years before JNPT, the playing field remains far from level,” he stated.

Published on April 01, 2020
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