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Business News/ Economy / India’s major ports record highest ever cargo of 795 mt in FY23: Sonowal

India’s major ports record highest ever cargo of 795 mt in FY23: Sonowal

  • The minister said the fleet of ships sailing under the Indian flag has expanded from 1,205 in 2014 to 1,526 by 2023, showcasing the country’s commitment to strengthening its maritime presence.

File: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Photographed by Pradeep Gaur/Mint.

New Delhi: Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said that India’s major ports handled the highest-ever cargo at 795 million metric tonne in 2022-23, registering an increase of 10.4% over the previous year.

Addressing an event organised by industry body FICCI, the Ports, Shipping and Waterways minister further said major ports recorded the highest ever output per day of 17,239 tonne in last fiscal year, a growth of 6 per cent as compared to 2021-22.

The minister also added that 21,846 vessels were handled last financial year by major ports.

Sonowal noted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Indian shipping industry has witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of ships, gross tonnage, and seafarers employed.

He said the fleet of ships sailing under the Indian flag has expanded from 1,205 in 2014 to 1,526 by 2023, showcasing the country’s commitment to strengthening its maritime presence.

“This growth has been accompanied by a significant rise in gross tonnage, increasing from 10.3 million in 2014 to 13.7 million in 2023, reflecting the enhanced capacity and scale of operations," the minister added.

Sonowal said that the number of Indian seafarers has grown from 1,17,090 in 2014 to a remarkable 2,50,071 in 2022, registering an increase of almost 114% in just nine years.

He added that these historic achievements underscore India’s dedication to developing and modernising its port infrastructure to boost trade and support economic growth.

The minister said India’s progress in developing state-of-the-art port infrastructure and outlined future plans for the maritime sector.

He pointed out, “95% of India’s trading by volume and 70% by value is done through maritime transportation. For smooth and efficient trading, most-modern and advanced port infrastructure is of paramount importance."

Sonowal emphasised the importance of incorporating technology into port operations, stating that “smart ports are the future, and we are already making significant strides towards this goal."

By leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence, India aims to optimise port operations and boost efficiency. He alluded to recent digital initiatives such as the NLP-Marine and Sagar-Setu app, geared towards bringing all stakeholders onto a single platform, reducing logistical costs and time, and improving overall efficiency.

Additionally, major ports are embracing automation, with the installation of gate automation, enterprise business solutions, and container scanners, he added.

Sonowal said that major ports are under development to become hydrogen hubs for handling, storage, and transportation of green hydrogen. Deendayal, Paradip, and V.O. Chidambaranar ports have already begun developing the necessary infrastructure for hydrogen bunkering, he said.

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