Shipping


A cargo vessel sailing along the very wide Hugli river at Diamond Harbour, West Bengal

India's extensive 7,500 km coastline is dotted with a dozen major ports and some 200 minor and intermediate ports. The Government of India's Port Trust of India runs all the major ports. Minor ports are guided by state governments. The major ports of India handled 679 m tons of cargo in 2017-18. Kandla (Gujarat) port's cargo throughput was a record 105.4 m tons during the same year. The JNPT container terminal and NSICT are the largest container handling ports with an approx. 60 % share of a total of 9.14 m containers (TEUs) handled at Indian ports in 2017-18. The Shell Group/Total operates a 2.5 mtpa liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and port at Hazira, Gujarat. New greenfield ports under construction include the Krishnapatnam port in southern Andhra Pradesh.

The gross Indian shipping tonnage amounted to 11.3 million GT's (Gross Tons) while the number of vessels was 1297 at the end of Nov 2016. India is 17th largest shipping nations globally on the basis of merchant fleet size.


A view of the outer Visakhapatnam harbour and fishing harbour. Vizag Port handled 61 million tons of cargo in 2016-17. Iron ore, coking coal and oil products are some of the bulk items handled by this natural harbour. The underutilised container terminal is operated by Visakha Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd. The terminal handled 367 000 TEUs in 2016-17. The new multi-purpose deepwater port at Gangavaram began operating in 2008. (top left corner of image).

Inland Waterways

Although inland water transport has a rich legacy in India, road and rail transport play a dominant role in inland transport. India at present has three national waterways, the National Waterway No 1 (NW-1) ie Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hugli river system, the NW-2 ie Brahmaputra and the NW-3 ie the West Coast Canal. The total length of navigable rivers and canals is about 14,500 kms.

National Waterways of India
WaterwayRouteRemarks
NW 1Allahabad to Haldia, 1620 kms (U.P.,Bihar, Jharkhand and W.B.)Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly river system. Large fluctuations in water levels.
NW 2Sadiya-Dubri, 891 kms (Assam)Trade with Bangladesh takes place by the use of this waterway.
NW 3Kollam-Kottapuram, 205 kms (Kerala)Includes the West Coast Canal, Champakara and Udyogmandal canals. NW3 is a tidal canal.

State waterways include Goa's 275 km network of navigable waterways, including the Mandovi and Zuari rivers. Iron ore is transported by barges (some 240 operate in Goa) from ore mines to the ports of Mormugao and Panaji.

Ports

Major/Intermediate/Minor Ports of India
PortCargo Handled
(Million Metric Tons) : 2015-16
Containers
(TEUs) 2011/12
Ship Calls
2011/12
Visakhapatnam 57.0 46,7362 109
Kolkata/Haldia 50.3 796 000 (2017/18)3 127
Chennai 50.1 1 549 000 (2017/18)1 857
Kandla 100.1 177,0002 124
Mumbai 61.1 138,201 6 088
JNPT/Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal
Gateway Terminals India
64.0 4 833 000 (2017/18)2 380
New Mangalore 35.6 21,460* 1,144*
Mormugao 20.8 10,011
Paradip 76.4 2,000 1,636*
Kochi 21.1 203,0001 225
Tuticorin 28.1 377,102 1 533
Kamarajar Port 30.5 (FY18) - 801 (FY17)
Port Pipavav ca 200,000¹
Mundra ca 28* 671,000¹ 1,169 (Apr-Dec07)
Kakinada Anchorage Port
Kakinada Deep Water Port
 695²
Gangavaramnanana
Krishnapatnam 45 (2017/18) 481 000 (2017/18) 1290 (2017/18)
*: Apr07 - Mar08
¹ 2007
² 2004

A view of the Gangavaram Port being developed just south of Vizag. The port was comissioned in 2008.

A view of the Vizag Port located in north-western Andhra Pradesh. The Indian Navy Eastern Naval Command (one of the three area commands along with Mumbai and Kochi along the western coast) is headquarted in Vizag.

A view of Chennai harbour. A record 137,000 cars were exported through Chennai port in 2007-08. Other ports facilitating auto exports include JNPT at Navi Mumbai. Mundra Port in Gujarat in building an auto terminal. The Chennai Container Terminal, operated by Dubai Ports, handled 1.12 million TEU equivalent containers during the same period. A new terminal targeted to handle upto 5 million TEU's is in the planning stage.

Shipyards

India has 23 shipyards, eight of which are in the public sector. India's share of the global shipbuilding sector is currently less than half a percent but is projected to grow upto 15 per cent by 2020 due to cost competitiveness and readily available skilled labour force in India. India's shipyards have a cargo carrying capacity of 2.8 million tons and are building (as at Feb 2008) 245 ships of various sizes valued at more than Rs 200 billion.

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