The seaborne traffic at the country’s 13 major ports stagnated at year ago level in October, against 4 per cent increase in September and 7.4 per cent in this month a year ago. Seven ports witnessed increased volume during the month, whereas six others saw y-o-y decline in freight, which included 15 per cent drop in business at Kandla and 18 per cent at New Mangalore. Visakhapatnam saw 45 per cent increase in freight due to spurt in POL, thermal coal and containers even as general industrial cargo showed a steep decline during the month. Among the cargoes, iron ore volume declined 49 per cent, fertilizer 12 per cent and general industrial cargo 16 per cent. However, thermal coal loading went up 19 per cent and coking coal 50 per cent. POL (petroleum, oil and lubricants) was up one per cent.
Cumulatively, the total cargo handled at the major ports increased 3.7 per cent during April-October, less than 4.6 per cent in this period of 2014-15. The business volume at Mormugao was up 25 per cent on strong growth in thermal and coking coal. The freight at Haldia and V.O.Chidambaranar expanded 19 per cent due to POL, coking coal and general industrial cargo in case of Haldia, and thermal coal, containers and general industrial cargo at V.O.Chidambaranar. Total cargo at New Mangalore declined 9 per cent during April-October and that at Visakhapatnam and Chennai recorded 4 per cent. Paradip handles maximum thermal coal, followed by Kamarajar. Among cargoes, Iron ore loading declined 48 per cent and raw fertilizer 13 per cent, whereas finished fertilizer quantity shot up 30 per cent. Thermal coal loading increased 18 per cent during the first seven months of the ongoing fiscal.