Since the government’s announcement in the Union Budget to promote coastal shipping, cargo transportation along India’s coastline has increased. However, data from the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways reveals that the pace of growth is significantly higher for private ports than for state-owned ports.
Experts attribute this disparity to a combination of factors, including weak demand at major ports, a shift in supply chains towards private ports, and increased production and capacity at companies with captive ports. Consequently, there is a widening gap between coastal cargo volumes at major and non-major ports.
Between April and August, coastal cargo handled at state-owned ports grew by a mere 1.3 per cent, with some of the largest coastal hubs reporting a year-on-year