Container traffic moving through India’s major ports fell 1.5 percent during the April-December period, the first nine months of fiscal 2009-10, compared with a year earlier, the Indian Ports Association said in a statement on Wednesday.
The cumulative traffic data indicates that the pace of decline in box movements is slowing amid the gradual turnaround in the country’s foreign trade. India’s exports were up 9.4 percent in December over November, at $14.6 billion.
The country’s 12 gateway hubs handled 5 million 20-foot equivalent units, down from 5.1 million TEUs in the same period in 2008-09.
While the throughput of 3 million TEUs at Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva) and 895,000 TEUs at Chennai, the two largest container ports, was at the same level as the previous year, the ports of Kolkata and Cochin reported modest gains where volume increased to 374,000 TEUs from 336,000 TEUs, and to 219,000 TEUs from 201,000 TEUs.
Tuticorin suffered a marginal drop, having moved 320,000 TEUs compared with 332,000 TEUs. The decline was most severe at Mumbai, where volume slipped almost 50 percent to 41,000 TEUs from 77,000 TEUs.
In terms of overall tonnage, major ports handled 412 million tons of cargo during the nine-month period, up 5 percent from 392 million tons in the same period in fiscal 2008-09. Volume in December surged to 49 million tons from 45 million tons on a year-on-year basis.
The western Port of Kandla emerged as the country’s top cargo handler with throughput of 59.4 million tons, followed by Visakhapatnam, at 49.3 million tons, and Chennai, at 45.8 million tons.