Marine traffic rises 42.3% in India in 2018

During the year, Sagarmala Programme saw the completion of around 90 projects, while 443 projects worth US$61 billion are under various stages of implementation and development

December 12, 2018

Ports across India handle 90 per cent by volume and 70 per cent by value of India’s external trade

More than 605 projects having a total cost of US$125 billion have been identified under Sagarmala

India is aiming to raise the overall port capacity to over 3.5 billion metric tonnes per annum by 2025

Six new port sites in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu (2), West Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka have been identified

The year 2018 has been a significant one for the shipping sector in India. Bolstered by progressive policy interventions such as the amendment of Model Concession Agreement, revision of tariff guidelines as well as various steps taken towards facilitating Ease of Doing Business, India’s 12 major ports kept up their performance in terms of capacity addition and improvement of efficiency parameters. During the year, the US$125 billion Sagarmala Programme saw the completion of around 90 marine projects, while 443 projects worth US$61 billion are under various stages of implementation and development.

The year was especially critical for developments in the inland water transport sector. The inauguration of a multi modal terminal on river Ganga at Varanasi by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the first ever post-independence movement of container cargo from Kolkata to Varanasi on the river, and the start of integrated movement of cargo from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu in Assam over three waterways – Ganga, Brahmaputra and the Indo Bangladesh Protocol Route, have firmly established that the vision of inland water as a cheaper and more environment friendly mode of transport is fast becoming a reality.  

Meanwhile, in 2018, cruise tourism was another area with important developments like the inauguration of a modernized international cruise terminal at Chennai Port and the launch of Mumbai-Goa cruise service, as was the skill development sector with the setting up of Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding (CEMS) at Vizag and Mumbai, National Technology Centre for Ports, Waterways and Coasts (NTCPWC), at IIT Madras in Chennai and the decision to set up Multi Skill Development Centers (MSDC) at all major ports under Sagarmala. This is touted to help India’s 12 major and 200 notified minor ports.

In order to meet the increasing trade requirements of the country, the focus has been on the infrastructure development and capacity enhancement of the Ports. Over the years the cargo handling capacity of the major ports has been growing steadily:

YearCapacity (MTPA)
2012-13744.9
2013-14800.5
2014-15871.5
2015-16965.4
2016-171,359
2017-181,451.20

Meanwhile, traffic handled at major ports has also been increasing:

YearTraffic  (In MT)
2012-13545.79
2013-14555.49
2014-15581.34
2015-16606.47
2016-17648
2017-18679.37
2018-19 (upto Oct)403.39