MUMBAI: In a sluggish year for shipping and logistics, Chennai Port still saw an increase in traffic due to higher crude import. Chennai Port has achieved a maximum draft of 17 metres, ahead of Ennore Port (16), Mumbai Port (14), Vizag Port (14.5) and Cochin Port (14.5).
“Draft or depth of Major Ports have improved for 10 out of 12 Major Ports. They have been able to achieve 14 metres minimum draft target. This in turn would lead to larger vessels docking at Indian ports, bringing down the need to transship goods, thus, bringing down the cost of shipping and time taken,” said Ashish K Nainan, Research Analyst, CARE ratings.
Analysts say the increase in draft would attract more traffic. For the period April-December 2017, Chennai Port handled 39.4 million tonnes of cargo, up 4% from 37.9 million tonnes of cargo from the comparable period last year. Of this petroleum, crude oil and lubricants saw a 6% rise in traffic to 10.16 million tonnes from 9.63 million tonnes.
“We believe Chennai Port has the deepest draft in India for docking crude carriers. Crude containers with passage volume of 1.40 lakh can be docked at Chennai because of the increase in dredging. A 4-6% growth in traffic might not seem high, but I would say our performance has been good; considering that we are seeing increased competition from Katupalli and Krishnaptanam Port,” said B Vimal, Traffic Manager, Chennai Port. With the increase in traffic, Chennai Port ranked 7th in India in terms of density of traffic.