Cargo handled by the country’s major ports declined by 19.68 per cent to 141.92 million tonnes (MT) in the first quarter of this fiscal amid the coronavirus outbreak, as per industry body IPA.

These 12 ports had together handled 176.69 MT of cargo during April-June period of 2018-19, the Indian Ports Association (IPA) said.

Cargo volumes declined for the third straight month in June 2020.

Ports like Chennai and Kamrajar saw their cargo volumes nosedive about 40 per cent during April-June, while Kolkata and JNPT suffered a drop of over 30 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 handled 705 MT of cargo in the last fiscal.

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

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

Container trade was severely hit as it recorded a decline of 32.28 per cent in terms of TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit), while thermal coal handling declined by 34.70 per cent.

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

Source:- Daily Shipping Times