Sailing towards success
India is strategically located on the world’s shipping routes with a coastline of approximately 7,517 km. Maritime transport handles around 70% of India’s trading in value terms. The government has also introduced various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for enterprises that develop, maintain and operate ports, inland waterways and shipbuilding in India.
The Government launched the ambitious Sagarmala Programme in March 2017, with the vision of port-led development and growth of logistics-intensive industries. Under Sagarmala Programme, $123 bn would be invested across 415 projects across the following identified components:
- Port Modernization and New Port Development
- Port Connectivity Enhancement
- Port-Linked Industrialization
- Coastal Community Development
The projects identified under Sagarmala Programme are expected to have the following impact:
- Mobilization of over $58 bn of infrastructure investment
- Double the share of inland and coastal waterways in the modal mix from 6%
- Reduce time for export by 5 days
- Boost merchandise exports by $110 bn
- Create 4 mn new direct jobs and 6 mn indirect jobs
As on January 2021, a total of 161 projects at a cost of $12 bn have been completed and 178 projects at a cost of INR 1,96,578 Crores are under implementation.
India has become the fourth country in the world to have its independent Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) recognized by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as part of the World Wide Radio Navigation System (WWRNS). IRNSS will facilitate at least 2500 merchant vessels, including small fishing vessels in Indian waters, to use the system within an area of nearly 1500 km from the Indian boundary.
The India Maritime Vision 2030 has identified over 150 initiatives to boost the Indian maritime sector.
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Cargo traffic at major ports (2018-19)
Cargo traffic growth
Indian fleet strength (no. of vessels - coastal & overseas as on Apr 2020)
Annual cargo traffic doubled to 1 bn tonnes p.a. over the decade starting 2005
Seaborne trade in India has grown at twice the global growth rate of 3.3%
16th largest maritime country in the world
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Cargo traffic on the rise
India has 12 major and 200 non-major/intermediate ports (under state government administration). Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust is the largest major port in India, while Mudra is the largest private port. Moreover, India is one of the world's top 5 ship recycling countries and holds 30% share in the global ship recycling market.
By Financial Year 2018-19, 34 PPP projects with an investment of $3.05 bn involving capacity addition of 300 MTPA is under operation. Another, 13 PPP projects with an investment of $978.3 mn involving capacity addition of 140 MTPA is under implementation. Further, there are 20 captive projects with an investment of $713.8 mn involving capacity addition of 142.45 MTPA under operation and 7 captive projects with an investment of $930.5 mn involving capacity addition of 55 MTPA is under implementation.
The overall installed capacity of the major ports in India has increased over 76% to reach 1,534.91 MTPA in Mar 2020, vis-a-vis 871.52 MTPA in March 2014. Moreover, the total traffic handled by these major ports has reached to 704.92 MT during 2019-20. Cargo traffic in the country is expected to rise to 2,500 MT by 2024-25 from 1,072.23 MT in 2015-16. The major ports in India collectively handled 679.4 MT of cargo during 2017-18 compared to 648.4 MT a year ago; thereby registering a growth of 4.8%. During 2018-19, major and non-major ports in India handled a total cargo throughput of around 1,282 MT. The traffic grew by 6.13% over the corresponding period of the previous year.
- 118 maritime projects requiring $7.7 bn investment have been approved in the last four years
- The cargo handling capacity of major ports reached 1534.91 MPTA in 2019-20
Share in traffic for major commodities (2019)
- POL: 37.5%
- Container: 20.8%
- Thermal coal: 23.1%
- Iron ore: 5.8%
Development of existing & 106 notified waterways
6 new ports identified under Sagarmala Programme
Bhavnagar in Gujarat is being developed as a container manufacturing hub
Cruise shipping potential expected to grow
Specialist terminal based ports
Cargo like LNG with specific equipment & high capital costs
Increased trade & private participation in port infra development
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