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Indian container volumes shrink as Mundra Port takes a hit


Indian ports got off to a slower start in the fiscal year 2023-24, which began on 1 April.

According to exclusive data obtained by Container News, combined volumes out of India’s major/government and minor/private ports last month fell 7% month-on-month reaching 1.76 million TEUs.

Mundra Port, the country’s busiest container gateway, saw a 13% decrease in box volumes in April, versus March, despite some incremental gains due to cargo diversions from Nhava Sheva (JNPT), fuelled by the decommissioning of a berth at APM Terminals Mumbai, also known as Gateway Terminals India (GTI).

Mundra’s throughput stood at 579,358 TEUs last month, compared with 664,890 TEUs in March, data shows.

The private harbour, the Adani Group’s flagship project under its port subsidiary APSEZ, features five box terminals, such as Adani Mundra Container Terminal (AMCT), Adani CMA Mundra Terminal (ACMTPL), Adani International Container Terminal (AICTPL), Mundra International Container Terminal (MICT) and AMCT T2.

Aided by growing transshipment volumes, contributed by MSC and CMA CGM, Mundra has been able to outpace Nhava Sheva Port (JNPT) to become India’s top container handler.

APSEZ is hoping to see increased ICD (inland container depot) volumes for Mundra due to upgraded rail systems.

“With the commissioning of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) line till Dadri on 23 April, the double-stack rake services from ICD Dadri to Mundra Port will now become operational,” APSEZ said in an announcement.

The company also noted, “Supported by our ICD at Patli, this connection will further boost volumes at Mundra Port, and the total rail volumes for Adani Logistics.”

APSEZ has seen strong growth in recent years, due to aggressive capacity expansion and evolving trade outreach efforts.

“Growth in cargo volumes across most of our ports reflects that our strategy of improving operational efficiency is delivering results and this will continue to boost the ROCE of port assets,” group CEO Karan Adani said in a recent statement.

Nhava Sheva (JNPT) also saw a 5% decline in volumes last month, handling 521,890 TEUs, versus 550,318 TEUs in March, according to new data. On the other hand, Chennai Port’s April volumes remained flat at 123,633 TEUs.

Cochin Port, which houses India’s first fully-fledged transshipment facility (Vallarpadam Terminal) operated by DP World, handled 55,041 TEUs in April, down from 61,327 TEUs in March.

Given the continuing export demand challenges, it remains to be seen if containerised volumes at Indian ports will rebound in the coming months.

Source: Container News

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