Indian Ports End 2022 on a Promising Note as Box Volumes Stay Resilient

According to the latest exclusive port data collected by Container News, the flow of containers in and out of Indian ports is showing signs of a resurgence after a brief period of slowing trends.

Countrywide box volumes (including major and minor ports) in December stood at 1.7 million TEUs, a 5.9% increase month-on-month.

Of this, by port, Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, or JNPA) contributed 522,035 TEUs, up 10% from 473,104 TEUs in November.

Adani Ports (APSEZ) – which has a network of minor, non-government terminals on the east and west coasts of India – reported noticeable traction in container handling last month. Its countrywide port/terminal locations cumulatively moved in/out 712,864 TEUs, versus 693,624 TEUs in November, a gain of nearly 3%.

APSEZ’s flagship Mundra Port racked up 549,432 TEUs last month, up from 529,234 TEUs in November.

Chennai Port in southern India ended last month with 117,749 TEUs, a slight drop from 124,543 TEUs in November.

At Cochin Port, which operates India’s only dedicated transshipment facility, known as Vallarpadam Terminal or DP World Cochin, container throughput soared to 62,534 TEUs from 55,776 TEUs in November.

December volumes at Tuticorin Port (V.O. Chidambaranar) stood at 61,319 TEUs, surging from 49,105 TEUs in the month-ago period.

Visakhapatnam Port handled 41,952 TEUs last month, as against 42,223 TEUs in November, while Kolkata Port saw 48,382 TEUs, versus 47,872 TEUs in November.

For the whole of 2022, Nhava Sheva Port through its five box terminals reported a new throughput high of 5.95 million TEUs, up 5.8% year over year, according to port data.

“The year 2022 was phenomenal for JNPA as we achieved the milestone of handling the highest-ever traffic in the port,” JNPA chairman Sanjay Sethi said in a statement.

He further noted, “The performance of all our terminal operators is noteworthy. Besides, in 2022, we became India’s best-performing port, the first 100% landlord major port, and being acclaimed with various prestigious awards.”

On a fiscal year (2022-23) basis, in the first three quarters (April to December), the 12 Indian major/government ports together saw 8.45 million TEUs, edging up from 8.34 million TEUs year-over-year, according to official figures.

The analysis also indicates Mundra Port continues to have a lead over Nhava Sheva, mainly powered by its transshipment loads.

Meanwhile, Nhava Sheva Freeport Terminal (NSFT), which recently won a tender to modernise and operate Nhava Sheva’s oldest box facility JNPCT, is set to commence operations early next month.

“NSFT will be revamping the existing container terminal (JNPCT) at JNPA in two phases, and is expected to be fully completed by the fourth quarter of 2024,” the new private concessionaire said in an announcement, adding that “NSFT will be equipped with the latest technology and equipment, enabling faster turnaround of vessels.  The terminal will offer high productivity levels and a sustainable working environment.”

NSFT is a joint venture between Mumbai-based JM Baxi Group and CMA Terminals.