Container traffic through major ports in India increased 4.3 percent year-over-year in the first half of fiscal 2012 ending Sept. 30, the Indian Ports Association said Wednesday.
The 13 state-owned gateway ports handled 3.9 million 20-foot equivalent container units from April through September, compared with 3.7 million TEUs in the same period last year. The tonnage of container traffic surged nearly 9 percent to 59.3 million tons from 54.6 million tons a year earlier, according to statistics available on the association's website.
The volume of containers handled by Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), the country’s largest container port, was on par with last year, at 2.15 million TEUs compared with 2.11 million TEUs Chennai, the second-largest box gateway, moved 794,000 TEUs, up 5 percent from 758,000 TEUs.
The latest IPA figures indicate recent port clogging problems adversely impacted traffic growth at Nehru and Chennai, which cumulatively handle almost 75 percent of India’s total containerized export and import cargo.
Other smaller container ports such as Kolkata, Tuticorin and Cochin reported marginal gains in volume in the six-month period. Kolkata handled 270,000 TEUs, up from 260,000 TEUs. Tuticorin’s volume increased to 240,000 TEUs from 227,000 TEUs. Cochin moved 177,000 TEUs compared with 172,000 TEUs.
According to the IPA, the overall tonnage of all cargo shipped through major ports in the first half was up 3.1 percent to 280 million tons from 271 million tons a year earlier.
The western Port of Kandla was the top cargo handler in the first half with throughput of 41.6 million tons, followed by Visakhapatnam, at 36 million tons; Nehru, at 32 million tons; Chennai, at 29 million tons; and Paradip, at 28 million tons.