Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemical and Fertilisers, Shri Mansukh L Mandaviya, has confirmed in a parliamentary statement that the cargo handling capacity of the country’s major ports has been increased by over 400 million tonnes a year over the last four years.
The government’s Sagarmala programme to promote port-led development in the country has embraced a series of infrastructure and equipment investment initiatives which have increased their cargo handling capabilities. Overall, the Minister said, India’s major ports had an annual throughput capacity of 1451.19 million tonnes year in 2017-2018, compared with just over 800 million tonnes in 2013-14. Total traffic has increased from 555 million tonnes to 679 million tonnes in the same period, he added.
There has also been a big improvement in port efficiency. Average ship turnaround time was now 65 hours, down from 93.6 hours in the 2013-14 financial year. According to the Minister, one of the main reasons for the improvement has been the introduction of RFID-based gate automation systems at all of the country’s major ports. This has facilitated the movement of cargo through the ports, thereby reducing average turnaround times.