India Container Volume Flat in First Quarter

India Container Volume Flat in First Quarter

Major state-owned ports in India, getting off to a sluggish growth trend in 2012 amid global economic uncertainties, saw container volume remain flat in the first fiscal quarter from a year ago, according to the latest preliminary figures released by the Indian Ports Association.

Container throughput from April through June was estimated at 1.94 million 20-foot-equivalent units, while the tonnage of box traffic grew 2.55 percent year-over-year to 30.7 million tons.

Box volume at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Nhava Sheva), the country’s largest container gateway, recorded virtually no change compared with a year earlier, at 1.08 million TEUs.

Traffic at Chennai decreased 4.5 percent to 395,000 TEUs from 412,000 TEUs in the corresponding months last year.

Kolkata’s box throughput increased 13 percent to 148,000 from 138,000 TEUs. Tuticorin handled 111,000 TEUs, down from 118,000 TEUs. Volume at Cochin dropped to 75,000 TEUs from 87,000 TEUs.

The IPA said total cargo tonnage at the 13 publicly-owned ports from during April to June fell 5.5 percent year-over-year to 138.5 million tons from 146.5 million tons.

Kandla emerged as the top cargo handler, with throughput of 21.2 million tons, followed by Nehru, at 16.8 million tons; Mumbai, at 15.4 million tons; Visakhapatnam, at 14.9 million tons; and Chennai, at 13.6 million tons.

In fiscal 2011-12, which ended March 31, Indian major ports handled 560 million tons of cargo, down 1.73 percent from 570 million the previous year, while container traffic rose 3 percent to 7.77 million TEUs from 7.54 million TEUs.