Cargo Handling At Major Ports Drops Over 30% In April-June
Shipping containers sit stacked at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, operated by Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Cargo Handling At Major Ports Drops Over 30% In April-June

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Container cargo handling at India's major ports tumbled over 30% during the April-June quarter of the current fiscal amid the coronavirus pandemic, as per data by ports body IPA.

Container cargo in terms of twenty foot equivalent unit at India's 12 major ports dropped 32.28% to 1.74 million in the the first quarter of the current fiscal, according to the latest data from the Indian Ports' Association.

In terms of tonnage, the container cargo declined 30.11% to 26.34 million tonne in the quarter.

These ports had handled containers to the tune of 2.57 million TEUs and 37.69 MT in terms of tonnage in the April-June period of the previous financial year.

The IPA, which maintains cargo data handled by these ports, in its latest report said "percentage variation from the previous year" in container handling in terms of TEUs and tonnage was 32.28% and 30.11%, respectively.

India has 12 major ports -- Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (Ennore), V O Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) -- that handle about 61% of the country's total cargo traffic.

Ratings agency ICRA had earlier said that while all cargo segments are vulnerable, container segment is expected to be more adversely impacted.

While general cargo throughput may witness 5-8% contraction for the full year 2020-21, the container segment may drop 12-15%, it had said.

These 12 ports had handled 705 MT of cargo in the last financial year.

Total cargo traffic includes container cargo, coal, fertilisers, petroleum products and other segments.

Cargo handled by the country's major ports declined by 19.68% to 141.92 MT in the first quarter of this fiscal.

These 12 ports had together handled 176.69 MT of cargo during April-June period of 2018-19.

Also read: Amid Demand Slump, India Records Rare Trade Surplus In June

Ports like Chennai and Kamrajar saw their cargo volumes nosedive about 40% during April-June, while Kolkata and JNPT suffered a drop of over 30%.

While Chennai port saw 39.91% decline in cargo handling to 7.28 MT, Kamarajar (Ennore) port suffered a drop of 39.41% to 5.16 MT in April-June, as per IPA data.

Cargo handling at Cochin port slipped 33.78% to 5.63 MT, while the same at JNPT declined 31.38% to 12.09 MT. Kolkata port logged a fall of 27.26% to 11.72 MT.

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