VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam Port has shown substantial improvement in cargo-handing during the current fiscal, at 8.1 per cent, over last year, according to port sources.
The port has so far handled 56.54 million tonnes during the current fiscal as against 52.7 million tonnes compared to last year, registering growth rate of 8.1 per cent.
Port officials are confident of reaching, and even surpassing, the target of 61 million tonnes set by the Ministry. It is a creditable achievement despite slowdown and demonetisation hitting the port sector, say officials.
Among the Major Ports, Kandla is the front-runner with 90 million tonnes so far followed by Paradip at 74 million tonnes.
Efficient handling of cargo, drastic cuts in handling charges and improvement in techno-efficiency parameters have led to increased handling of cargo notwithstanding stiff competition from the nearby ports and downward slide in the industry, add the sources.
Capacity augmentation and modernisation programmes have also put the port in an advantageous position with plans to increase the throughput significantly in years ahead. The port, which now has a capacity to handle 98 million tonne, will have additional capacity of four million tonne with the completion of first phase of Essar Greenfield Iron Ore Terminal and six million tonne with the commissioning of West Quay-7 and 8 during next fiscal.
Commenting on increase in throughput this year, a senior official of the port said that they could handle five million tonne of iron ore and pellets due to MMTC’s long-term agreement for supply to South Africa and Japan and increase in container traffic by 1.2 million tonnes. The port handled 10.4 million tonnes of iron ore so far this year.