Container cargo handling at India’s major ports dropped about 25 per cent during April-August amidst the pandemic, according to the data by the Indian Ports’ Association (IPA).
The latest data from the IPA showed how Container cargo in terms of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) at the country’s 12 major ports dropped 25 per cent to 3.25 million in the April-August period of the current fiscal.
It declined 22.45 per cent to 49.26 million tonnes (MT) during the period, in terms of tonnage.
These ports had handled containers to the tune of 4.34 million TEUs and 63.53 MT in terms of tonnage in the April-August period of the previous financial year.
The IPA, which maintains cargo data handled by these ports, in its latest report said “percentage variation from the previous year” in container handling in terms of TEUs and tonnage was 25.01 per cent and 22.45 per cent, respectively.
Cargo volumes at these ports declined for the fifth straight month in August 2020 and all ports barring Mormugao saw a negative growth.
These 12 ports had together handled 293.67 MT of cargo during April-August 2018-19.
Ports like Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar witnessed a steep drop in their cargo volumes by 30 per cent during April-August, while JNPT and Kolkata recorded drop over 20 per cent.
India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government, which handles about 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic.
Ratings agency Icra had earlier said that while all cargo segments are vulnerable, container segment is expected to be more adversely impacted.
While general cargo throughput may witness 5-8 per cent contraction for the full year 2020-21, the container segment may drop 12-15 per cent, it had said.
Total cargo traffic includes container cargo, coal, fertilisers, petroleum products and other segments.