Volumes rise at India’s busiest port

Volumes rise at India’s busiest port

Bangalore: The volume of container cargo handled by state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru (JN) port, India’s busiest container port, has risen to record levels, prompting shipping lines to reintroduce some services they had axed due to the slowdown.

The port handled 4.06 million standard containers in the year to 31 March, up 2.78% over the previous year, a spokesman said. In 2008-09, the volume of cargo handled had declined 2.64%.

“This is the highest volume of containers handled by the port in a year since starting operations in 1989, surpassing the 4.05 million standard containers handled in 2007-08," the spokesman said, asking not to be named.

The figures indicate a pick-up in trade as the global economy revives.

“We are almost back on track as far as India’s container business is concerned," said Apurva Jasraj, partner at Mumbai-based freight broking firm M Jasraj and Brothers. “It is a very optimistic picture."

JN port, near Mumbai, has three terminals designed to handle a total 3.6 million standard containers a year, but took on more than its capacity.

Cargo handling volumes at one of the terminals, run by DP World Pvt. Ltd, rose to 1.53 million standard containers in 2009-10 from 1.43 million the previous year. Another facility run by a consortium of APM Terminals Management BV and state-owned Container Corp. of India Ltd, or Concor, saw volumes rise to 1.75 million standard containers from 1.46 million earlier.

But at the terminal owned by the port itself, volumes fell to 776,000 containers from 1.06 million in 2008-09 and 1.26 million in the year before.