APM Terminals expects India’s emergence as a major global trader to create huge opportunities for port operators in the years ahead.
CEO Kim Fejfer said as the world’s third-largest economy and with a population of 1.2 billion, India was significantly underrepresented as a player in global trade.
Throughput at India’s ports accounted for just 9.7 million 20-foot equivalent units in 2011. According to global container traffic averages based on economic output, APMT said this was just one- twelfth of the volume that would normally be expected to meet its needs. By contrast, throughput reach more than 22 million TEUs last year at the port of Shenzhen, which is not even China’s largest container complex.
Congestion at major gateways, such as Chennai and Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru), was increasingly common and APMT, which operates terminals at Mumbai and Pipavav, said capacity issues were now affecting trade growth.
Fejfer estimated that infrastructure investment of some $20 billion would be needed to support India’s projected GDP growth rates in the years ahead creating huge opportunities for port operators.
“The opportunities for development throughout India are exciting and energizing and APM Terminals is committed to being a part of that growth,” he said.
However, he warned that attempts to attract investors in port infrastructure would only prove fruitful if the investment and regulatory environment in India did not act as constraints.
“Port tariff regulations which penalize increased throughput and productivity will not assist in developing the needed infrastructure," Fejfer said.
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