Container throughput at major ports in India stayed almost flat year-over-year from April through October, the first seven months of fiscal 2012-13, according to the latest provisional figures released by the Indian Ports Association.
The number of containers handled by the 12 state-owned ports during the seven-month period totaled 4.54 million 20-foot-equivalent units, while the tonnage of box traffic grew 1 percent to 70.2 million tons from 69.5 million tons a year earlier.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva), the country’s top container handler, saw relatively flat traffic in the same period, at 2.5 million TEUs.
Chennai Port handled 918,000 TEUs, compared with 916,000 TEUs a year ago. Kolkata Port’s volume increased about 12.5 percent to 355,000 TEUs from 317,000 TEUs. Tuticorin’s throughput decreased to 278,000 TEUs from 279,000 TEUs.
Box traffic via Cochin Port fell 9 percent to 196,000 TEUs from 215,000 TEUs. Volume at Mumbai Port remained nearly flat, at 37,000 TEUs.
The IPA said total cargo tonnage at major ports during April to October fell nearly 3 percent to 315.8 million tons from 325 million tons for the same period last year.
Kandla topped volume at 54 million tons, followed by Nehru, 37.8 million tons; Visakhapatnam, 35 million tons; Mumbai, 33.5 million tons; and Chennai, 31 million tons.
For fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, India’s ocean trade through major ports was estimated at 560 million tons, down 1.73 percent from 570 million tons the previous year. Consolidated box volume grew 3 percent to 7.77 million TEUs from 7.54 million TEUs in fiscal 2010-11.
Based on latest volume trends, major ports are unlikely to reach the overall throughput target of 601 million tons set by the Shipping Ministry for fiscal 2012-13, which ends March 31, 2013, amid the ongoing downturn in the global container shipping market.