India’s Port Volumes to Quadruple by 2025

Cargo capacity at Indian ports is expected to increase to 2.5 billion tonnes by 2025, according to a report on ports released by the Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).The report, titled ‘Indian ports sector: Challenges of scale and efficient operations’, found that India’s ports have met rapidly expanding traffic in recent years, handling more than a billion tonne of cargo in 2016-17.But it also revealed that India’s total containerized cargo capacity of 8.75 million TEU at all its 12 major ports is less than a quarter of containerized goods handled at China’s single port of Shanghai (36.5 million TEUs).The report concluded that it is imperative for India to support its ports in order to remain competitive.The study was released by D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, and Dr Arvind Kumar, Chief Advisor, ASSOCHAM at a press conference on December 12, 2017.Despite positive projections, India’s freight mainly comprises petrol, oil, and lubricant (POL), coal, iron ore and other commodities — and are impeded by problems such as inadequate infrastructure and poor management.Commenting on the report, Rawat reiterated the importance of port development in India and highlighted recent Government rulings to empower development.He said: “The Orissa High Court decision to dispose of case pertaining to setting up 13 non-major ports along its 480 kilometre-long coastline will further boost the prospect of port infrastructure, bring in investment, create thousands of jobs and also add to the revenues of the state exchequer.”The study recommended that in order for India to remain competitive globally, the industry must invest in port capacity.It recommended that to achieve this, India must address how to identify, fund, operate and make targeted infrastructure improvements in key elements of the maritime transportation system.The report stated: “India needs to spend more and better in maritime infrastructure.”It also said that the proposed national ports strategy should include a clear articulation of function and hierarchy of India’s ports within the context of a national supply chain.