Coronavirus pandemic: Container cargo handling at major ports drops about 25% in April-Aug, shows IPA data

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Updated: September 27, 2020 12:07 PM

Ports like Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar saw their cargo volumes nosedive about 30 per cent during April-August, while JNPT and Kolkata logged a drop of over 20 per cent.

India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government.India has 12 major ports under the control of the central government.

Container cargo handling at India’s major ports fell about 25 per cent during April-August amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ports body IPA data.

Container cargo in terms of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) at India’s 12 major ports dropped 25 per cent to 3.25 million in the the April-August period of the current fiscal, showed the latest data from the Indian Ports’ Association (IPA).

In terms of tonnage, the container cargo declined 22.45 per cent to 49.26 million tonnes (MT) during the period.

These ports had handled containers to the tune of 4.34 million TEUs and 63.53 MT in terms of tonnage in the April-August 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 25.01 per cent and 22.45 per cent, respectively.

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 per cent contraction for the full year 2020-21, the container segment may drop 12-15 per cent, it had said.

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

These ports have registered 16.56 per cent dip in cargo handling to 245.04 MT between April and August this fiscal.

Cargo volumes at these ports declined for the fifth straight month in August 2020 and all ports barring Mormugao saw a negative growth.

These 12 ports had together handled 293.67 MT of cargo during April-August 2018-19.

Ports like Chennai, Cochin and Kamrajar saw their cargo volumes nosedive about 30 per cent during April-August, while JNPT and Kolkata logged a drop of over 20 per cent.

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).

These ports handle about 61 per cent of the country’s total cargo traffic. These ports handled 705 MT of cargo last fiscal.

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