India’s major ports witness drop in cargo traffic for seven months at a stretch

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The country’s major ports witnessed a 12.43% decline in cargo traffic during the April-October period of the current fiscal to 354.81 million tonnes amidst pandemic-related disruptions, according to Indian Ports Association.

Due to the coronavirus crisis, sharp dips were observed in the handling of containers, coal and petroleum, oil and lubricant, among other commodities.

India has 12 major ports under the control of the Centre — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore) VO Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).

Cargo volumes at these 12 major ports have declined for the seventh straight month in October 2020. During the April-October period of the last fiscal, these 12 major ports had handled 405.20 MT of cargo, according to the ports’ apex body.

However, Mormugao Port recorded a hike of 16.47% in cargo handling to 10.17 MT during April-October period this year.

JNPT and Kolkata ports registered sharp declines of 18% and 14% respectively. Cargo handling at Kamarajar Port (Ennore) plunged 30.56% during April-October to 12.53 MT, while ports like Chennai, Cochin and Mumbai registered a drop of 20% in cargo volumes during the same period.

Deendayal Port saw cargo volumes dip 11.5%, while VO Chidambarnar recorded a dip of 10.8% and cargo handling at New Mangalore and Visakhapatnam dropped by over 5% whereas Paradip Port recorded a decline of about 4%.

Recently, Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had shared how the cargo traffic at 12 major ports declined considerably from March onwards due to the pandemic. He however had added that recovery has started since June 2020.

The major ports are responsible for handling about 61% of the country’s total cargo traffic. They handled 705 MT of cargo in the last fiscal.

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