Indian ports register growth
The ports industry in India has been buoyed by signs of a recovery, with 12 government-owned major ports registering a 1.78 per cent growth in traffic for the period between April 2013 and March 2014.
The growth comes after two years of falling cargo volumes, giving those in the ports industry hope for some recovery this year.
Globally though, the trade is expected to grow marginally keeping the freight rates for the shipping lines under pressure for yet another year.
"Economy had hit a rough patch but now there are signs of improvement. Manufacturing, trade etc are expected to go up, which should drive the traffic. The economy should benefit if we get a stable government after the general elections," said Hemant Bhattbhatt, chief executive officer, Hmsa Consultancy Services LLP told India’s Business Standard.
The increase in traffic volumes is also an encouraging sign for ports and private operators to invest in building capacities.
India’s shipping ministry had recently awarded 4.8 million-teu’s fourth container terminal project at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT).
The project is expected to double JNPT's total capacity. The country's total container capacity currently is over 11 million-teu’s.
Companies too are pinning their hopes on the next government to expedite port infrastructure in the country and encourage funding of various projects.
"There are strong expectations that clearances will come faster and the investment sentiment will make it easier for companies to get financing," Bhattbhatt added.
"The capacity addition in ports was suffering because of economic slowdown, which was affecting cargo volumes. But now, if there is demand, supply will have to match up," said senior shipping ministry official.