India’s major ports handled their highest ever cargo of 795 million tonne in FY23, an year-on-year increase of over 10 per cent, Sabananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said on Friday.

According to him, India’s major ports recorded the highest ever thoroughput per day of 17,239 tonnes last fiscal, 6 per cent growth YoY. In all, 21,846 vessels were handled by them.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) had handled a record 6 million TEU (twenty equivalent units), the highest among other ports.

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The major ports in the country include: Syama Prasad Mookherjee Port (formerly Kolkata Port Trust), Paradip, Vishakhapatnam, Kamarajar (or Ennore port), Chennai, VO Chidambaranar, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA) and Deendayal.

“The maritime segment accounts for 95 per cent of the country’s trading volumes and 70 per cent of the value,” Sonowal said while addressing an event organised by FICCI.

Fleet of ships under the Indian flag increased to 1,526 in FY23, up from 1,205 in 2014.

The Centre was also investing towards adoption of data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence across the ports.

The country’s exports rose by about 6 per cent to a “record” USD 447 billion during 2022-23 due to healthy growth in the outbound shipments from petroleum, pharma and chemicals and marine sectors.

Talking about the rising opportunities in the inland waterways segment, the Minister said, in FY23, the cargo traffic transported was 125 million tonnes, a 681 per cent increase over 2014 when it was “just” 16 million tonnes.