“We are not offering any discounts to attract customers but have set up 24x7 sector-wise offices to address client grievances. This is helping sort out issues, and in turn, aiding cargo volumes,” said the official. According to the
Association (IPA) data, traffic handled by major ports stood at 245 million tonne during April-August 2020, down 16.56 per cent from same period last year.
Kamarajar Port (earlier known as Ennore Port) reported the biggest drop in volumes of close to 32 per cent for the eight months.
“Kamarajar Port will take a couple of months to bounce back as import of thermal coal has dropped significantly due to weak demand from power plants, both private and Tamil Nadu state units. We are not doing anything specific to bring back trade but Tamil Nadu, which is using wind energy, will return to coal in the next couple of months. This will push up coal demand again,” said A Karuppiah, chief manager (traffic) at Kamarajar Port.
“The sequential month-on-month rise in traffic is largely due to the phased opening up of the economy, post lockdown. Coal traffic at major ports has been improving, with opening up of industries, leading to a rise in power demand,” said Isha Chaudhary, director, CRISIL Research.
Among the private port players, Essar Ports is consistently maintaining cargo volumes at above 4.2 million tonnes. Adani Ports remained relatively insulated from the overall tough business climate as unlocking started across the country.
“Containerised cargo forms about 20-30 per cent of the total throughput of major ports and has surely picked up. But the unlocking phase has helped demand pick up across sectors,” said Shailesh Garg, analyst with maritime consultants Drewry.