India Ports See Slight Container Uptick

India Ports See Slight Container Uptick

Container traffic at major ports in India grew a mere 2 percent from April through July compared with a year earlier, according to the latest traffic data released by the Indian Ports Association.

The sluggish growth in the first four months of fiscal 2012 followed a 10 percent increase in throughput during the previous fiscal year ended March 31, 2011.

The 13 state-owned ports handled 2.58 million 20-foot equivalent units during April-July, up from 2.53 million TEUs in the year-ago period. The tonnage of containerized traffic increased 7 percent to 40 million tons from 37 million tons within the same period.

The IPA data indicates the operational disruptions, following the ongoing quay crane replacement at the port-run terminal, adversely impacted traffic growth at the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), the country's largest container gateway, where throughput was almost flat with the year-ago period at 1.43 million TEUs.

Volume at Chennai surged 10 percent to 552,000 TEUs from 502,000 TEUs. Kolkata handled 179,000 TEUs, up from 170,000 TEUs. Tuticorin moved 155,000 TEUs compared with 152,000 TEUs.

Major ports that suffered marginal declines in container volume included Mumbai and Cochin.

According to the IPA, total cargo tonnage at major ports during April to July was up nearly 5 percent, from 184 million tons to 193 million tons.

Kandla was the top cargo handler with throughput of 28.2 million tons, followed by Visakhapatnam, at 24.2 million tons; Nehru, at 21.6 million tons; and Chennai, at 20 million tons.