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Indian ports nowhere near China in container handling
Mr.G.Chandrasekar 2023-02-08 15:15:43 International Ports News

Indian ports nowhere near China in container handling

Chinese Ports handle nearly sixteen times more container cargo than its counterparts in India. The Chinese ports handle 245 million TEUs annually while the Indian ports throughput is hardly 17 million TEUs, Minister for Ports Sarbananda Sonawal admitted in the Rajya Sabha


a written answer to the upper house of parliament the minister said the combined container throughput across top 20 major global ports stood at 357 million TEUs during the period 2020.

At present, India is not having landside mega-port and terminal infrastructure to deal with Ultra-large container ships. Ports need higher draft, several large cranes, better yard management capability, increased automation, larger storage facilities, more inland connectivity and enhanced labour productivity. Ultra-large container ships seek speedy unloading of the large volumes they carry.

To develop global standard ports in India, Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 has identified initiatives such as developing world-class Mega Ports, transhipment hubs and infrastructure modernization of ports. It estimates the investments to the tune of Rs 1,00,000–1,25,000 crore for capacity augmentation and development of world-class infrastructure at Indian Ports.

The upcoming ports at Vizhinjam (Kerala) and Vadhavan (Maharashtra) have natural drafts in excess of 18m that would enable ultra large container and cargo vessels to call on the ports thereby boosting the efforts to make India the world’s factory by improving the container and cargo throughput. ( while Vadhavan port faces serious environmental problems the Vizhinjam port faces  sea erosion issues and therefore faced opposition from the fishermen)

Industry sources said the government is concentrating on ports in Gujarat and Maharashtra, but the ones in the east coast are neglected. The container terminals in the east coast are working at 50 per cent of the capacity for the past eight years but the issue has hardly been addressed. Port like VOC Tuticorin has been reduced to a feeder port and its fortunes depended on Colombo port. There havebeen hardly any investment in port infrastructure or connectivity projects in this part of the country. Outer harbor project sanctioned for Tuticorin port way back in 2013 was put on cold storage for eight long years without assigning any reasons. The Colachel transshipment terminal approved by the union cabinet in 2015 but its fate is not known. Instead the government has gone in for a terminal at Nicobar Islands, riddled with environmental issues.