Today, there are 13 major seaports in India, out of which 12 functions under the government of India while a corporation leads one that is left (Ennore Port). These seaports are vital for sustaining and enhancing India’s improving economy. These ports in India are crucial for handling a majority of India’s trade. But apart from being trade centres, they serve as tourist attractions as well. These 13 significant seaports are:
1. Kandla Port, Gujarat – Busiest Port in India
- It is the busiest and the richest Sea Port in India.
- Kandla port is located 90 kilometres from the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat, Kandla creek.
- It was built in 1950 after the partition of India and Pakistan at the loss of Port of Karachi.
- It is the largest Port in India based on the weight of cargo handled. Kandla port is the first Export processing port in India.
- The essential imports entering the Kandla port are Petroleum, Steel, iron machinery, chemicals, salt, textiles and grains.
- Today, the Kandla port is one of the highest profit earning seaports in India. It is the centre of exporting grains and importing oil.
2. Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Maharashtra (old Nhava Sheva)
- It is the largest reservoir port all over India, occupying the east of Mumbai, Maharashtra.
- The name “Nhava Sheva” is derived from the names of two villages that existed in that area. (Date of Construction on 26th May 1989).
- The Indian Government entirely controls the Jawaharlal Nehru port.
- This Port takes care of about 56 per cent of the total containers. It is one of the top 30 ports in India. “Shri Anil Diggikar” is the chairman of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port.
- The Jawaharlal Nehru port was the recipient of the ‘Port of the year’ award at the MALA awards, 2014.
- The leading exports from Jawaharlal Nehru Port are textiles, sporting goods, carpets, textile machinery, boneless meat, chemicals pharmaceuticals. At the same time, imports include chemicals, machinery, plastics, electrical machinery, vegetable oils and aluminium and other non-ferrous metals.
3. Mumbai Port (Largest Port of India)
- Occupying the mainland of West Mumbai, it is the largest Port in India.
- It is a natural harbour which is 10 to 12 metres deep. It handles around one-fifth of India’s foreign trade.
- The Mumbai port is one of the busiest seaports in India.
- It plays a crucial role in advancing India’s economy and trade affairs. The Mumbai harbour is also known as ‘Front Bay’ which means gateway of India’.
- The Port mainly specifies in the import of petroleum products, liquid chemicals, mineral oil and substances, which consist of cotton textiles, leather, tobacco, manganese, machinery and chemical goods.
4. Visakhapatnam Port, Andhra Pradesh
- It occupies the eastern part of South India in Andhra Pradesh between Chennai and Kolkata port. The Visakhapatnam port surrounds itself in a beautiful creek. It is one of the significant seaports in India.
- Lord Willingdon discovered the Visakhapatnam port on 19th December 1933 of about rupees 378 lakh.
- This Port handles around 1.2 lakh tonnes of cargo every year.
- The Visakhapatnam port has three principal harbours: the outer dock, the inner harbour and the fishing harbour.
- The Port lies on a creek where the Narava Gedda joins the sea.
- The Port is more defined and modernised by 2017at an investment of Rs.13 crore.
- The Port deals with the trade of iron ore, pellets, coal, Alumina and oil.
5. Chennai Port (Second Largest Sea Port in India)
- The Chennai port is also known as Madras port. It is the second-largest Port all over India. It is the third oldest Port in India whose inauguration dates back to 1881.
- It lies on the Coromandel Coast in the Bay of Bengal.
- It is Tamil Nadu’s leading Port, and it is the main reason for its stability.
- The cargo of the Chennai port increased from 0.5 million in 1978 to 100 million in 2016.
- It became necessary for the boom of Tamil Nadu.
- Both historical as well as modern lighthouses which gives it a beautiful look guard the Port. The Chennai port is more known to expand its handling to 140 million.
6. Mormugao Port, Goa
- Goa is the main tourist attraction in India and so the need for a port to make Goa flourishing in terms of trade affairs. “Shri I.Jayakumar” is the chairman of the Mormugao.
- Mormugao Port is a port in Goa, and it is the significant Port of Goa.
- It plays an essential role in case of its trade affairs.
- It became the major Port in 1963 and also the leading iron ore export location of India exporting a total of 50.02 million tonnes of iron ore every year.
7. Port Blair Port, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- It is one of the youngest major seaports in India.
- Port Blair lies in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
- The government declared this Port as a major one due to its contribution in boosting the ports of India to 13th place.
- The Port Blair is the youngest sea port in India which connects to the mainland of India through ship and flight.
8. Kolkata Port
- The Kolkata port lies on the bank of the river Hugli at a distance of 128 kilometres from the Bay of Bengal.
- This Port handles all the goods coming mainly from Australia and South-East Asian countries. It is also known as the ‘Gateway of Eastern India’. The Kolkata port is the only Port having two dock systems called Kolkata docks and Haldia docks.
- It is one of the largest dry docks of India and also the oldest Port that was made by the East India company.
- The Kolkata port is the most important centre in the trade of jute.
- It exports Jute products, tea, coal, steel, iron ore, copper, leather etc. and imports are mainly that of machinery, crude oil, paper, fertilisers and chemical products.
9. Paradip Port, Orissa:
- The Paradip port is one among the deepwater seaports in India that lies on the coast of Orissa.
- The depth of the Port allows it to handle heavy and bulk containers.
- This Port mainly deals with iron-ore and coal. Iron-ore is the primary export mineral to Japan in vast quantities.
- This Port’s exports are always double the number of its imports.
- In 2003, the Paradip port’s imports were only 6,991 thousand tonnes while its exports reached a total of 16,910 thousand tonnes.
- This Port even has its railway system to make transport easy. Recently an oil jetty that can handle up to 8 million tonnes of petroleum products and tankers of 85,000 DWT was constructed, making the Paradip port even more efficient and better.
10. Tuticorin Port, Tamil Nadu
- Tuticorin Port is a new port that was recently constructed in Tamil Nadu and is one of the 13 major ports of India.
- It is an artificial harbour developed 8kms south of the old Tuticorin port.
- The Port mainly trades with Sri Lanka and is correctly connected by railways and roads.
- It is also the second-largest Port in Tamil Nadu.
- It is best for pearl fishery in the Bay of Bengal and is also known as the pearl city.
- It mainly deals with trade of coal, salt, food grains, edible oil, sugar, and petroleum products. Its depth increased to 12.8 metres from the current 10.7 metres and also to build an outer harbour.
11. Cochin Port, Kochi (Kerala)
- A major port on the Arabian Sea, the Cochin port is one of the largest seaports in India and also the fastest-growing one situated in Kerala.
- The Cochin port lies in between two islands, namely Willingdon and Vallarpadam
- Its export mainly consists of tea, coffee and spices while its exports consist of mineral oil and chemical fertilisers.
- It is also a centre for shipbuilding. In this Port, the imports always exceed exports.
- In 2003, its imports were 10,839 thousand tonnes while its implications were only 2,110 thousand tonnes.
12. Ennore Port, Chennai:
- It lies on the Coromandel coast at a distance of 24 km from the Chennai port, the Ennore port is the 12th major Port of India.
- The Port has both road and railway links to ease transport.
- It mainly deals with the transportation of coal, and that was its initial cause of development being the Tamil Nadu electricity board needed fuel for its operations.
- The Ennore port now deals with the handling of over 16 million tonnes of coal per year. Apart from coal it also deals with the trade of iron ore, petroleum products and chemicals.
- The prospects for this Port are to build three multi-purpose berths and five containers. Ennore Port is a privately owned port
13. Panambur Port, Mangalore, Karnataka (Also Known as New Mangalore Port):
- It lies in the coastal city of Mangalore. Panambur Port or New Mangalore port is one of the major seaports in India, lying at the Gurupura river at its northern banks.
- This Port derives its name by the combination of ‘Panam’ which means Money and ‘Ur’ which means a place or a village in the Tulu language. It signifies that this Port is a place which is commercially very important.
- Indira Gandhi inaugurated Panambur port on the 4th May 1974. Panambur Port is a deepwater, all-weather port which means that it can function throughout the year.
- It primarily serves as a trading point for the majority of Karnataka and Kerala.The essential import commodities include fertilisers, wood pulp, timber logs, crude oil and petroleum products, LPG, timber logs.
- In contrast, the export commodities include the likes of granite stones, coffee, iron ore concentrates and pellets, manganese and cashew, etc.