STUDIES show transshipment growth at India's smaller private ports such as Krishnapatnam on the east coast and Mundra on the west coast while growth stalls at rival state-run ports.
Krishnapatnam's transshipment volume reached 180,176 TEU from April 2017 to January out of a total volume of 401,574 TEU. This compares to the corresponding 2016 to 2017 period with its transshipments totalling 58,225 TEU out of a total volume of 255,439 TEU.
Mundra, India's biggest private port, moved 426,994 TEU of transshipments in fiscal 2016-17 out of a 3.45 million TEU total volume. This compares to a 366,217 TEU transshipment total out of three million TEU handled the year before.
At east coast Krishnapatnam, the big jump comes on the back of weekly feeder calls to Colombo, Jebel Ali, Salalah and Qatar.
With chronic congestion and low productivity at Chennai, shippers now look for newer, alternative options, reports IHS Media, as evidenced by Krishnapatnam's rising fortunes.
To that end, Krishnapatnam has a draft of 16 metres (53 feet) with additional capital dredging, reportedly making it the deepest harbour on the east coast.
'Larger vessels can now dock at Krishnapatnam to load or discharge hinterland as well as transshipment cargo speedily,' said a company official.
Further, armed with advanced equipment and operating systems, the company boasts average crane moves of up to 50 per hour and gross crane rates running at 37 moves per hour.
Krishnapatnam currently includes two berths with a total quay of 2,150 feet, an 89-acre back-up area, nearly 5,000 ground slots, and a capacity of 1.2 million TEU per year. A second-phase development programme calls for significant capacity expansion, covering 2,000 metres of quay, an 18-metre draft, much larger yard space, and more harbour equipment.
On the west coast, Adani Group-owned Mundra Port, which competes directly with Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), is rapidly improving its transshipment volume.
The Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) and CMA CGM have been steadily increasing tonnage to India with ships now averaging 10,000 TEU.
Earlier studies show that the number of export-import containers relayed to foreign ports by India's major public ports in fiscal 2016-17 fell two per cent to 2.78 million TEU from 2.84 million TEU the year before.