There are currently 13 major seaports in India, out of which 12 are operated under the government of India while one is run by a corporation (Ennore Port). These sea ports are crucial to sustaining and improving India's developing economy. These ports in India are essential for handling a majority of India's trade. But apart from being trade centres, they also serve as tourist attractions as well.
Here are the 13 Major Seaports in India:
1. Kandla Port, Gujarat - Busiest Port in India
The busiest and the richest Sea Port in India, Kandla port is situated 90 kms from the Gulf of Kutch, Gujarat in a place called the Kandla creek. It was constructed in the 1950s after the India Pakistan partition at the loss of Port of Karachi.
It is the largest port in India according to how much of cargo is handled. Kandla port is the first Export processing port in India. The significant imports that enter Kandla port are Petroleum, Steel and iron machinery, chemicals and also salt, textiles and grains.
Today, the Kandla port is one of the highest profit earning seaports in India and the centre for exporting grains and importing oil.
2. Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Maharashtra (Earlier Known as Nhava Sheva)
The Nhava Sheva, which is another name for the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, is the largest container port in the whole of India. It is situated in the east of Mumbai, Maharashtra. The name Nhava Sheva is derived from the names of two villages that used to exist in that area.
Constructed on May 26, 1989, the Jawaharlal Nehru port is entirely controlled by the Indian Government. This port handles 56% of the total containers and is one of the top 30 ports in India. The chairman of the Jawaharlal Nehru port is Shri Anil Diggikar.
The Jawaharlal Nehru port was awarded the 'Port of the year' at the MALA awards, 2014.
The principal exports from Jawaharlal Nehru Port are textiles, sporting goods, carpets, textile machinery, boneless meat, chemicals pharmaceuticals and imports are chemicals, machinery, plastics, electrical machinery, vegetable oils and aluminium and other non-ferrous metals.
3. Mumbai Port (Largest Port of India)
Located on the mainland of West Mumbai is the Mumbai port. It is the largest port in India. It is a natural harbour and is 10-12 metre deep. It handles around one-fifth of India's foreign trade.
The Mumbai port is one of the busiest seaports in India. It plays a vital role in enhancing India's economy and trade affairs. The Mumbai harbour is also known as 'Front Bay', meaning gateway of India.
The port mainly specialises in the import of petroleum products, liquid chemicals and mineral oil and imports consist of cotton textiles, leather, tobacco, manganese, machinery, chemical goods.
4. Visakhapatnam Port, Andhra Pradesh
Located in East of India in Andhra Pradesh between Chennai and Kolkata port, the Visakhapatnam port is situated in a beautiful creek. It is one of the significant 12 seaports in India. Lord Willingdon inaugurated the Rs.378 lakh Visakhapatnam port on December 19, 1933.
This port handles around 1.2 lakh tonnes of cargo every year. The Visakhapatnam port has three principal harbours: the outer dock, the inner harbour and the fishing harbour. The port is located on a creek where the Narava Gedda joins the sea, a beautiful sight. The port is said to become more defined and modernised by 2016-2017 after an investment of Rs.13 crore. The port deals with the trade of iron ore, pellets, coal, Alumina and oil.
5. Chennai Port (Second Largest Sea Port in India)
The Chennai port, also known as the Madras port is the second-largest port in the whole of India. It is the third oldest port in India that started its operations in 1881. It lies on the Coromandel Coast in the Bay of Bengal and is Tamilnadu's principal port and is the primary reason for its stability.
The cargo handling of the Chennai port increased from 0.5 million in 1979-78 to 100 million in 2015-16, you can only imagine its drastic evolution and how necessary it is for the boom of Tamil Nadu. The port is surrounded by both historic and modern lighthouses giving it a beautifying look. It is said that the Chennai port is meant to expand its handling to 140 million shortly.
6. Mormugao Port, Goa
Goa is a beautiful place and the main tourist attraction in India and hence the need for a port to make Goa flourish more through its trading affairs. The chairman of the Mormugao port is Shri I.Jayakumar. Mormugao Port is a port located in Goa and is the main port of Goa and is plays a vital role in its trade affairs. It was awarded the status of a major port in 1963, and it is the leading iron ore export location of India exporting a total of 50.02 million tonnes of iron ore every year.
Four new harbours are being made in the Vasco Bay to handle container traffic and cargo.
7. Port Blair Port, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Port Blair is situated in the Andamans and Nicobar island and is one of the youngest major seaports in India. The government declared this port as a major one due to its contribution in boosting the ports of India to 13th place. The Port Blair port is the youngest sea port in India and is connected to the mainland of India through ship and flight.
8. Kolkata Port
The Kolkata port is situated 128 kms from Bay of Bengal on the bank of the river Hugli. This port handles all the goods coming mainly from Australia and South-East Asian countries. It is also known as the 'Gateway of Eastern India'. The Kolkata port is the only port having two dock systems called Kolkata docks and Haldia docks. It is one of the largest dry docks of India and also the oldest port that was made by the East India company. The Kolkata port is the most crucial centre in the trade of jute. It exports Jute products, tea, coal, steel, iron ore, copper, leather etc. and imports are mainly that of machinery, crude oil, paper, fertilisers and chemical products.
9. Paradip Port, Orissa
The Paradip port is one among the deepwater seaports in India that are situated on the coast of Orissa. The depth of the port allows it to handle heavy and bulk containers. This port mainly deals with iron-ore and coal. Iron-ore is exported to Japan in vast quantities.
This port's exports are always double the number of its imports. In 2003, the Paradip port's imports were only 6,991 thousand tonnes while its exports reached a total of 16,910 thousand tonnes. This port even has its railway system to make transport easy. Recently an oil jetty that can handle up to 8 million tonnes of petroleum products and tankers of 85,000 DWT was constructed, making the Paradip port even more efficient and better.
10. Tuticorin Port, Tamil Nadu
Tuticorin Port is a new port that was recently constructed in Tamil Nadu and is one of the 13 major ports of India. It is an artificial harbour developed 8kms south of the old Tuticorin port. The port mainly trades with Sri Lanka and is correctly connected by railways and roads. It is also the second-largest port in Tamil Nadu. It is best for pearl fishery in the Bay of Bengal and is also known as the pearl city. It mainly deals with trade of coal, salt, food grains, edible oil, sugar, and petroleum products. Shortly, its depth is to be increased to 12.8 metres from the current 10.7 metres and also to build an outer harbour.
11. Cochin Port, Kochi (Kerala)
A major port on the Arabian Sea, the Cochin port is one of the largest seaports in India and also the fastest-growing one situated in Kerala. The Cochin port lies in between two islands, namely Willingdon and Vallarpadam. Its export mainly consists of tea, coffee and spices while its exports consist of mineral oil and chemical fertilisers. It is also a centre for shipbuilding. In this port, the imports always exceed exports. In 2003, its imports were 10,839 thousand tonnes while its imports were only 2,110 thousand tonnes.
12. Ennore Port, Chennai
Located 24 kms from the Chennai port on the Coromandel coast the Ennore port is the 12th major port of India. The port has both road and railway links to ease transport. It mainly deals with the transportation of coal, and that was its initial cause of development being the Tamil Nadu electricity board needed fuel for its operations. The Ennore port now deals with the handling of over 16 million tonnes of coal per year. Apart from coal it also deals with the trade of iron ore, petroleum products and chemicals. The prospects for this port are to build three multi-purpose berths and five containers. Ennore Port is a privately owned port.
13. Panambur Port, Mangalore, Karnataka (Also Known as New Mangalore Port)
Located in the coastal city of Mangalore, Panambur Port or New Mangalore port is one of the major seaports in India. It is situated at the Gurupura river at its the northern banks. The name of this port, Panambur, was birthed by the combination of ‘Panam’ which means Money and ‘Ur’ which means a place or a village in the Tulu language. It is intended to signify that this port is a place which is commercially very important.
Indira Gandhi, the former Indian prime minister, had inaugurated Panambur port formally on the 4th of May, 1974.
Panambur Port is a deepwater, all-weather port. This means that it can function throughout the year. It primarily serves as a trading point for the majority of Karnataka and Kerala. The essential import commodities include fertilisers, wood pulp, timber logs, crude oil and petroleum products, LPG, timber logs. In contrast, the export commodities include the likes of granite stones, coffee, iron ore concentrates and pellets, manganese and cashew, etc.