Maritime Transport Accounts For 95% Of India’s Overseas Trade In Volume And 70% By Value.

In 2019-20, India handled a total cargo output of around 1534.91 million tons.

Cargo traffic in the country is expected to rise to 2,500 million tons by 2024-25.

India is planning to build a huge transhipment port in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with a proposed outlay of US$ 1.38 billion.

Visakhapatnam Port Trust set a record by shipping 72.72 million tons of cargo during 2019-20.

Ports and shipping form a high-priority sector for the government of India. As per the Union Budget 2020–21, the total allocation for the Ministry of Shipping stands at US$ 257.22 million. The Shipping Ministry is aiming to promote the Indian shipbuilding industry and has been organizing discussions with some leading countries for ‘Make in India’ shipbuilding initiatives. The Government launched the ambitious Sagarmala Programme in March 2017, with the vision of a port and 6 million indirect jobs for people. Under the National Perspective Plan for the programme, six new mega ports will be developed in the country. US$ 58 billion have been mobilized for infrastructure development. Of this, a total of 161 projects have been completed at a cost of US$ 12 Billion and 178 projects costing US$ 27.3 billion are under implementation. 118 maritime projects requiring an investment of US$ 7.7 billion have been approved in the last four years.

Top initiatives of the Maritime India Vision 2030 plan include US$ 3.47 billion as development funds and new port regulations.

India is one of the world’s top 5 ship recycling countries and holds 30% share in the global ship recycling market. Currently, India recycles 7 million gross tonnages of ships per annum. The ministry has facilitated more than 1,00,000 crew changes at Indian ports and through charter flights - the highest number of crew changes in the world.

In this regard, the Cochin Shipyard and Fincantieri of Italy have entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for co-operation in the areas of design, shipbuilding, ship repair and marine equipment manufacturing, besides training & skill development.

The Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister announced that India aspires to grab at least 50% of the global ship recycling business after the enactment of the legislation for recycling of ships.

Visakhapatnam Port Trust set a record by shipping 72.72 million tons of cargo during 2019-20. All the major ports recorded 704.82 million tons of cargo traffic in FY20 along with a turnaround time of 64.69 hours. Cargo traffic in the country is expected to rise to 2,500 million tons by 2024-25.

India is planning to build a huge transshipment port in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, along the Bay of Bengal. The mega project has been proposed with an outlay of US$ 1.38 billion and once completed will have two major advantages. Its proximity to the busy international east-west shipping route will allow shorter transit periods and the depth of the waters in the region will facilitate hassle-free movement of the newest mega-ships.

Significant measures taken by industry stakeholders to give wind in the sails of the sector include:

  • 100% FDI has been allowed under both government and automatic routes.
  • The Ministry of Shipping has waived waterways usage charges to promote Inland water transport and increase the inland waterway traffic movement to 110 million tons in 2022-23.
  • An exclusive setup has been facilitated for cargo movement outside custom bonded ports under the green channel. Seven projects worth over US$ 277.78 million will be offered by major ports on public private partnership (PPP) mode in FY22.
  • The government has reduced the Goods and Services Tax(GST) from 18% to 5% on bunker fuel for both coastal vessels and foreign going vessels.
  • In July 2020, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Ltd, launched an offshore bond offering, raising US$ 750 million.
  • Supply chain and logistics company Safexpress recently launched a logistics park near Kolkata, West Bengal.

Riding on the wave of opportunity created by the confluence of international logistics and global supply chains, India’s Maritime sector has set sail on its voyage to bring about efficiency and unlock value in the global maritime trade. It welcomes all aboard on this adventure to encourage security and growth for all in the maritime domain.