India's 12 major ports recorded 2.90 percent growth in cargo handling at 699.04 million tonnes (MT) in the just concluded fiscal, as per ports body IPA.
The growth at these ports, that had handled 679.37 MT cargo in 2017-18, was driven mainly by higher handling of coal, fertilisers and containers.
These ports, under the command of the Centre, had recorded 4.77 percent growth in 2017-18 over the previous fiscal.
The 12 major ports -- Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) -- handled 699.04 MT of cargo during 2018-19, as per latest data by the Indian Ports Association (IPA).
Increased demand from various sectors including coal, containers, fertilisers and POL (petroleum, oil and lubricant) was the main reason behind the growth in traffic, IPA said.
Coking coal volumes handled by the 12 ports surged by 14.25 percent to 57.50 MT during the last fiscal, while thermal coal volumes rose 9 percent. Finished fertiliser volumes saw a growth of 9.69 percent during the fiscal.
Containers recorded a growth of 8.84 percent in terms of tonnage.
As per the figures, Kandla port handled the highest traffic volume at 115.40 MT during 2018-19, followed by Paradip (109.27 MT), JNPT (70.70 MT), Visakhapatnam (65.30 MT), Kolkata with Haldia (63.71 MT) and Mumbai (60.58 MT).
Chennai port handled 53.01 MT of cargo while New Mangalore handled 42.50 MT.
Volume of seaborne cargo is essentially in the nature of derived demand and is mainly shaped by the levels and changes in both global and domestic activity.
The major ports handle about 60 percent of the country's total cargo traffic.
Traffic handled by about 200 minor ports, either in the control of the state governments or private players, has been on the decline since 2014-15.
"The share of major ports in traffic handled, which declined continuously up to 2014-15, is increasing since then. The share of major ports in traffic handled was 55 percent in 2014-15 and increased to 58 percent in 2017-18," as per a report of the Ministry of Shipping.