HYDERABAD: Cargo traffic at the five Minor Ports in Andhra Pradesh (AP) combined has witnessed a decline during 2016-17 as compared to the previous fiscal owing to various factors including an overall downturn in global shipping trade.
The five Minor Ports of AP handled around 69.6 million tonnes (mt) of cargo during 2016-17 as compared to 72.7 mt in 2015-16. As per data provided by the AP Ports Department, four out of the five Minor Ports showed a decline in cargo traffic during the 2016-17 fiscal.
Cargo traffic at the five Minor Ports in AP combined has witnessed a decline during 2016-17 as compared to the previous fiscal owing to various factors including an overall downturn in global shipping trade.
Elaborating on the reasons for the decline, a Ports Department official said “overall downturn in global shipping trade” was one of the major factors followed by reduction of iron ore imports due to increased domestic production. Also, the reduction of coal movement through ports due to the Government policy of encouraging domestic production through Coal India Limited also led to reduction in imports, affecting cargo traffic in the Minor Ports.
Ports Department officials said reduction of freight charges by railways also led to power producing companies moving towards railways for cargo movement.
Incidentally, AP has witnessed a capacity addition of 51% in the last three years among its Minor Ports. While the overall capacity to handle cargo in Minor Ports was around 121.30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) in 2014-15, it has increased to 184.24 mt in 2016-17.