The Indian ports sector is poised for significant growth driven by new manufacturing and power projects and higher cargo traffic at ports. Increase in containerized trade coupled with the Government’s active initiatives to develop the Indian ports sector, is expected to further boost the growth. Although the ports in India have shown considerable improvement over years, benchmarking them against the ports in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Rotterdam reveals that there needs to be marked improvement in many parameters to get Indian ports at par with international standards.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (automotive.frost.com), Strategic Analysis and Performance Benchmarking Assessment of the Ports Sector in India, finds that the traffic for total ports in India was worth 740.3 million tons (MT) in 2009 and this is expected to rise to 1,373.1 MT in 2015. Traffic at major ports is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6 percent from 2010 to 2015.
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"The commissioning of multiple innovative power projects based on imported coal and the setting up of steel projects and offshore exploration and production projects are likely to drive the Indian ports sector," says Frost & Sullivan Research Associate Reena Fatima Murray. "Additionally, the government has been promoting public-private participation in the ports sector on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, thereby stepping-up capacities and traffic handling at ports, besides enhancing their efficiency."
The Indian Government prioritized the expansion and modernization of ports as part of its five-year plan initiatives in 2007. It has been instrumental in redefining the role of ports from mere trade gateways to integral parts of the global and logistics chain.
However, several major ports lack sufficient draft for large crude tankers. Large vessels are berthed at Colombo, Singapore, or Dubai, and cargo is shipped to India later in smaller vessels, thereby escalating the freight cost. Additionally, all leading ports such as Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Visakhapatnam, and Mormugao handle more cargo than their designed capacities, further contributing to congestion and resulting in a longer turnaround time.
"Weak hinterland connectivity is a challenge for most Indian ports, reducing accessibility," explains Murray. "Despite investments from the private sector that are encouraging the modernization and development of ports, infrastructure continues to be a major issue in India."
The Committee of Infrastructure constituted a Committee of Secretaries to recommend time-bound identification and complete connectivity projects to successfully address issues regarding port connectivity.
"Several projects are underway for the deepening of drafts at major ports as a part of the national maritime development program," concludes Murray. "The government should work more proactively towards the execution of these plans for developing port infrastructure."
Strategic Analysis and Performance Benchmarking Assessment of the Ports Sector in India is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Strategic Assessment of Containerization Trends in India, Strategic Analysis of Indian Logistics Market, and Strategic Analysis of Indian Transportation Market. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.
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