Mundra overtakes JNPT to emerge largest container port by volumes

Mundra Port, India’s biggest commercial port by volumes and the flagship port of the Adani Group, edged past state-run Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) to emerge the largest container port in the country in the April-June quarter.

Mundra handled 970,940 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) while JNPT loaded 847,844 TEUs. A TEU is the standard size of a container and a common measure of capacity in the container business.

“Our next goal is making Mundra the largest container port in the world,” said Karan Adani, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), the port operating unit of the Ahmedabad-based conglomerate Adani Group.

Aside from this milestone, the operational performance of Indian ports during the first quarter of FY21 was hit by the demand destruction triggered by the pandemic.

Cargo volumes handled at the dozen major ports run by the Central government dropped 19.68 per cent to 141.924 million tonnes (mt) during the first quarter from 176.699 mt last year.

Except for iron ore, pellets and raw fertiliser cargo, all the other cargo types such as crude oil, products, LPG,LNG, other liquids, finished fertilisers, thermal coal, steam coal, coking coal, containers and other miscellaneous cargo registered volume declines during the first quarter.

APSEZ, with nine ports, handled 41.5 mt during the first quarter, a drop of about 27 per cent from the 57 mt handled last year.

In Mundra, container volumes dropped 17.7 per cent to 970,940 TEUs during the April-June quarter from 1.18 million TEUs during the same period last year.

In comparison, JNPT handled 847,844 TEUs, a drop of about 35 per cent from the 1.307 million TEUs handled in the first quarter of FY20.

On a cumulative basis, the container volumes handled by the 12 major ports dropped 32.28 per cent to 1.743 million TEUs from 2.574 million TEUs last year.