Adversely impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, India's top 12 ports witnessed a considerable decline in cargo traffic for the eighth straight month in November, according to ports sector industry body IPA. Cargo traffic at 12 major ports that are under the control of the Centre dropped by 10.53 percent to 414.30 million tonnes (MT) during April-November period of the current fiscal compared to 463.05 MT during April-November of the last fiscal.
Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had recently said the cargo traffic at 12 major ports declined considerably March onwards due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. All ports barring Mormugao — which recorded a 17.58 percent increase in cargo handling to 12.20 MT — saw a negative growth.
Cargo handling at Kamrajar Port (Ennore) nosedived 29.65 percent during April-November to 14.46 MT, while ports like Chennai, Cochin and Mumbai saw their cargo volumes dropping by about 17 percent during the said period. JNPT suffered a sharp decline of 15 percent.
Deendayal Port reported a 10.15 percent drop in cargo volume while VO Chidambarnar recorded a dip of 11.97 percent and cargo handling at New Mangalore dropped by over 7 percent. Paradip Port recorded a decline of 1.38 percent. India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia).
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, sharp declines were witnessed in handling of containers, coal and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) among other commodities. These ports handle about 61 percent of the country's total cargo traffic. They handled 705 MT of cargo last fiscal.
Mandaviya had told Parliament in September that there was a considerable decline in the total traffic, containers traffic and other than containers traffic in March, April, May, June, July and August, 2020 as compared to the corresponding months in 2019. The minister, however, had added that recovery has started since June 2020.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.