Cargo traffic at India's 12 major ports, which handles a little more than half the country's maritime transport activity, declined by 10.5% to 414 mn tonnes during April-November'20 compared with last year, CARE Ratings has stated in its latest report on Ports.
"Following a sharp contraction from a year ago during April and May, which coincided with the national lockdown, there has been a gradual improvement in traffic at the major ports since June. After a gap of eight months in November traffic at the major ports was higher than last year by 3%. This is suggestive of a pickup in general economic activity and trade both domestically and globally," the rating agency has noted.
Amongst the 12 major ports, Deendayal Port (Kandla) continued to handle the highest volume of cargo with a share of 17.8% followed by Paradip Port which accounted for 17.4% of the cargo traffic during April-November'20. The cargo handled at both these ports however was lower than a year ago by 10.2% and 1.4% respectively. Mormugao Port, which handled 3% of the cargo traffic, was the only port that saw a growth (of 18%) in cargo traffic handled at the Major Ports during April-November'20. The sharpest fall in cargo traffic was at the Kamarajar Port (-30%), followed by the Chennai Port (-20%), Mumbai Port (-19%) and Cochin Port (-18%). Lower petroleum products cargo has led to the decline in cargo traffic at the Mumbai and Cochin ports while fewer containers led to the fall in traffic at the Chennai ports. The lower cargo of coal impacted traffic at Kamarajar port.
The increase in activity at the ports is positive news for the country after the nationwide lockdown due to covid-19 badly impacted activity in the first half of 2020-21. It's likely that we may see an accelerated momentum going ahead.