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India's Leading Infrastructur Companies 2013


Ports play a vital role in economic development of a country as they form a crucial part of the nationís maritime transport sector and support competitive and cost effective international trade. India is a major maritime nation with coast line of around 7,517 kms on the western and eastern shelves. About 90% of the volume and 70% by value of Indiaís international trade is carried out through maritime transport. Indian port sector comprises of 12 major ports and 200 non major (minor/intermediate) ports. The major ports are administered by the central government and non major ports are being managed by states and union territories according to their respective coastline.

The current port scenario of the nation offers a significant scope for expansion of international maritime transport. With this view, the Planning Commission has approved a Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) of Rs 69.60 billion for the Ministry of Shipping for the 12th Plan period, of which the share of Ports sector is Rs 30.57 billion. Further, the Ministry of Shipping also plans to award 30 port projects during FY14, which would add 288 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) with an investment of approximately Rs 250 billion. 

Total traffic trend

During FY13 major and non major ports handled total cargo traffic of 934 MT recording a moderate growth of 2.2% over FY12. The deceleration in the growth rate is mainly attributable to lower economic growth as domestic GDP declined from 6.2% during FY12 to 5.0% during FY13, World Output reduced from 4.0% during 2011 to 3.2% during 2012, and growth rate of World Trade volume reduced significantly from 6.3% during 2011 to 2.4% during 2012. 

Major ports handled 58% of the total cargo traffic. The growth rate of traffic handled by major ports decelerated to -2.57% in FY13 as compared to -1.73% in FY12. Non major ports have helped to reduce the traffic at major ports to a greater extent. The traffic handled by non major ports has grown at 12.43% and 9.75% during FY12 and FY13, respectively. 

Major Ports commodity wise and port wise traffic handled during FY13

Product wise traffic handled data reveals that energy imports, consisting of POL & its products and Coal, continue to be the largest contributor to the total traffic handled representing about 50% share of the total cargo handled at major ports. Coal traffic has shown an increase of 10.4% during FY13 as compared to 4.8% during FY12. Traffic at major ports was mainly affected by negative growth of 54.9% in iron ore traffic due to restrictions in mining of iron ore in Karnataka and ban in Goa. Furthermore, Fertiliser and FRM cargo also recorded negative growth of -27.8% during FY13 after maintaining an upward trend during FY12 and FY11. 

Among the major ports, Kandla, JNPT, Vizag and Mumbai together handled around 50% of total traffic. Ennore port, which shared around 3.28% of cargo traffic, posted double digit growth of 19.6% for FY13. The growth rate of other ports were Kandla (13.5%), Paradip (4.2%), Mumbai (3.3%), JNPT (-1.9%), Chennai (-4.1%), Kolkata (-7.7%), Vizag (-12.4), Mormugao (-54.7), and others (4.9%). 

At non major ports, POL & its products and coal accounted for 71.76% of the total cargo handled. The growth achieved in cargo traffic during FY13 was mainly due to 11.1% growth in cargo traffic at Gujarat Port which accounts for around 74% of traffic handled at non major ports. 

Capacity of ports has been consistently enhanced in order to meet growing traffic needs. The aggregate capacity of major ports as at the end of FY13 stands at 744.91 MTPA as against 696.53 MTPA at the end of FY12. However, capacity utilization of major ports fell to 73% during FY13, after remaining above 80% during the previous five years. 

Turn Round Time (TRT) is total time spent by ship since its entry till its departure. Average TRT for all major ports had increased from 4.63 days in FY10 to 5.29 days in FY11; thereafter it has improved to 4.56 days and 3.94 days during FY12 and FY13 respectively. Port wise data reveals that Average TRT has improved in all major ports except Ennore, Haldia, New Mangalore and Jawahar Lal Nehru Ports.

Pre-Berthing Detention time (PBDT) is a time for which a ship waits before getting entry into berth. After increasing from 2.16 days in FY10 to 2.32 days in FY11, it has improved significantly to 2.05 days in FY12. Average PBDT (Port Account only) during FY13 was less than a day in case of all ports except Kandla where it was 2.05 days. 

The average output per ship-berth-day is total tonnage handled distributed over total number of berth days. The average output per ship-berth-day has improved significantly to 13,149 tonnes in FY13, as compared to 10,575 tonnes in FY12 and 9,140 tonnes in FY11. The major contributors for this improvement are Kolkata, Cochin, Paradip, Chennai, Tuticorin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, JNPT, Mumbai and Kandla Ports. 

Challenges and Outlook

The nationís port infrastructure faces several challenges such as capacity constraint, lack of efficient connectivity and accessibility, inefficient port services and procedural delays, among others. Financial and operational management of the major government ports are presently plagued by lack of autonomy. Despite improvement in efficiency, major ports have seen erosion in their share of traffic handled over the past decade from 75% in FY02 to 58% in FY13. However, Indian port infrastructure has immense scope for investment and capacity improvement. Capacity enhancement at major ports is taking place through captive projects as well as the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and non-PPP mode. Successful implementation of these projects is necessary to achieve the governmentís target of port capacity of 3,130 MTPA by 2020. Besides promotion of coastal shipping and inland waterway system, rail and road connectivity of ports will allow for speedier movement of cargo. Comprehensive policy guidelines for private sector participation in the major ports would also encourage private sector participation. With private investment and the governmentís support for construction, deepening and modernisation of berths and terminals, the Indian port sector could improve its efficiency and competitiveness and thereby provide the necessary impetus to support merchandise trade.