Container shipments through state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), India’s busiest container gateway, remained flat in 2015-16 as a global slowdown cut demand for goods.
The port located near Mumbai handled 4.49 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in the year to March, a marginal increase of 0.56% over the previous year. In 2014-15, JNPT, one of the 12 owned by the union government, handled 4.46 million TEUs. A TEU is the standard container size.
JN Port has four container loading facilities, two run separately by Dubai-based DP World Ltd, one by a consortium of APM Terminals Management BV and Container Corp. of India Ltd and the fourth by the port itself. The terminals are designed to handle a combined 4.4 million TEUs a year.
Of the total 4.49 million TEUs handled by the port in the year to March, the two terminals separately run by DP World—Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal Pvt. Ltd (NSICT) and Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd (NSIGT) handled 999,693 TEUs and 202,328 TEUs, respectively.
Effectively, the container volumes handled by NSICT dropped 13.84% from 1.16 million TEUs handled during 2014-15. NSIGT started commercial operations in 2015-16.
The facility operated by APM Terminals-Concor consortium loaded 1.86 million TEUs, a drop of 7.56% over 2.01 million TEUs loaded during 2014-15.
The fourth terminal, run by JN Port itself, handled 1.42 million TEUs—a rise of 10.45% over 1.29 million TEUs handled during 2014-15—making it the only
terminal to post growth during the year.
JN Port loads more than half of India’s container cargo shipped through its ports every year.
“Container shipments through JN port were hit by the slowdown in global economies. Still, we have maintained a marginal growth,” a spokesman for the port said.
In terms of overall volumes, the port handled 64 million tonnes (mt) of cargo from 63.8 mt loaded last year.
JN Port is building additional container loading capacity with private funds.
Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd is setting up a new container loading facility with a capacity to handle 4.8 million standard containers a year with an investment of Rs7,915 crore. The first phase of the new terminal with a capacity to load 2.4 million TEUs and costing Rs4,719 crore is expected to start operations in 2017.
PSA International, the world’s biggest container port operator by volumes, is fully owned by Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore.
JN Port is expected to handle 23 million standard containers by 2020, according to a ten-year plan unveiled by the shipping ministry.