India’s major ports improve average turnaround time, showcase increased efficiency

The average turnaround time for ships at India’s 12 major ports has reduced by 35 percent over the last six years. This development showcases the increased efficiency and significant improvement in the country’s port management infrastructure.

According to the Economic survey 2020-21, the Ships’ average turnaround at the country’s major ports fell from 4 days in 2014-15 to 2.59 days in 2019-20.  However, this has increased from 2.48 days in 2018-19, and is likely to rise further in the current year (2.62 days during April-September 2020-21).

“As per the latest United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) data, the median ship turnaround time globally is 0.97 days, suggesting that India has room to further improve upon the efficiency at ports,” the Economic Survey said.

UNCTAD says that port efficiency can shape countries’ trade competitiveness. Minimal turnaround time means saving the port time, which translates into savings in port infrastructure expenditure for ports, ship capital costs for carriers, and inventory holding outlays for shippers.

As per reports, Pradip port along the eastern coast in Odisha has shown the biggest improvement in reducing the turnaround time of ships from 7 days in 2014-15 to less than 3 days.

While the Cochin port in Kerala, recorded the lowest (1.66 days) turnaround time, the Mormugao (3.94 days) in Goa has the highest turnaround time among all the 12 major ports of India.

The Indian maritime sector which includes of 12 major and 200 minor ports moves about 95 percent of India’s trade by volume and 68 percent by value.

As per reports, the total cargo capacity of the country’s major ports rose to 1,534.91 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) at the end of March 2020, from 871.52 MTPA at end-March 2014.

“A consistent growth of around 6 percent was maintained in overall port traffic between 2015-16 and 2018-19. It decelerated to 1.98 percent in 2019-20 before falling sharply in 2020 owing to the lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Economic Survey said.

The Cargo traffic at Indian ports is estimated to reach 2500 MMTPA by 2025, for which the government has prepared a roadmap for increasing the capacity to 3300+ MMTPA under the Sagarmala project. This includes port operational efficiency improvement, capacity expansion of existing ports and new port development.

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