Accoding to the latest data released by Indian Ports Association, the country’s 12 major ports have recorded a marginal 1.48% upswing in cargo handling at 348.44 million tonnes (MT) in the April-September period of the current financial year.

The 12 major ports in question — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V.O.Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) — handled a total of 343.37 MT of cargo in the corresponding period of the previous financial year. The growth at these major Indian ports was largely driven by higher handling of coking coal, fertilisers and iron ore.

Increased demand from various sectors including coal, fertilisers, iron ore and containers was the main reason for the growth in the traffic, IPA said. Coking coal volumes handled by the 12 ports surged 15.25% to 29.29 MT during the period, while thermal coal volumes declined 13.20%. Finished fertiliser volumes saw a growth of 11.38% during the period. Container traffic recorded a positive growth of 5.61% in terms of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

The volume of ocean cargo is mainly shaped by the levels and changes in both global and domestic activity. Not surprisingly, India’s major ports handle about 60% of the country’s total cargo traffic.

According to the figures, Deendayal port handled the highest traffic volume at 61.04 MT during the April-September period, followed by Paradip at 55.55 MT, Visakhapatnam at 34.75, JNPT at 34.41 MT, Kolkata (including Haldia) at 31.64 MT, and Mumbai at 30.10 MT. Meanwhile, Chennai port handled 24.74 MT of cargo, while New Mangalore port handled 17.86 MT.