IndIa Box Traffic Falls 12 Percent
Containerized traffic handled by major ports in India dropped 12.5 percent in the April-May period, according to data released by the Indian Ports Association.
The country"s 12 major ports, six each on the west and east coasts, handled 1.05 million TEUs in the first two months of fiscal 2009-10, down from 1.2 million TEUs in the same period the previous fiscal year.
Traffic at Jawaharlal Nehru, India"s main container port, fell significantly when box volume decreased to 644,000 TEUs from 728,000 TEUs.
Traffic at Chennai, the second-largest box hub, went down by 17 percent to 176,000 TEUs from 212,000 TEUs. Tuticorin handled 67,000 TEUs, down from 76,000 TEUs.
The decline was most severe at Mumbai, where volume dropped 55 percent to 10,000 TEUs from 22,000 TEUs.
Kolkata reported a marginal growth, having moved 75,000 TEUs compared with 74,000 TEUs a year earlier.
In comparison, major ports performed relatively well in terms of overall tonnage. Total cargo throughput during the period was estimated at 91.16 million tons, off 1.15 percent from 92.2 million for the same period in 2008-09.
Several gateway hubs, including Nehru and Chennai, have major capacity expansion plans and many of these planned facilities are expected to suffer from the volume reduction, unless the overall trade scenario improves in the near future.
In related news, India's exports fell in April from year-ago levels for the seventh month in a row amid the continuing slump in global demand. Total exports amounted to $10.7 billion, down 33.2 percent from $16.1 billion.