ports in india

Master 12 Major Ports in India [2022] Map

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Ports in India – India has a coastline that is more than 7,517 km long, interspersed with more than 200 ports including 12 Major Ports. Most cargo ships that moves between East Asia and America, Europe and Africa pass through Indian territorial waters. In Latest news Jawaharlal Nehru Port became the nation’s first large port to run all of its berths under a PPP model, making it a 100 per cent Landlord port of India (July 2022). Also Learn about the Landlord port model and service port model in the article.

Ports in India

  • The state of Tamil Nadu hosts the maximum number of Major sea ports in India.
  • Acc. To  Indian Constitution the Maritime Transport is a part the concurrent list of schedule 7.
  • The Indian Ports are thus either managed the Central government or the State government
  • The Central Shipping Ministry of GoI manages the major ports of India,
  • And the minor ports and intermediate ports of India are controlled and supervised by the state government’s maritime board. 
  • India has twelve major seaports (11 govt and one private), as well as 205 notified minor and intermediate ports which handle a high amount of traffic.
  • Maritime transportation accounts for approximately 95 percent of India’s total international trade by volume and 70 percent by value.
  • India’s ports are located in nine coastal regions: Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
  • The Mumbai port is India’s largest natural port.
  • While the Ministry of Shipping has administrative control over the major ports, the non-major ports are under the jurisdiction of their respective State Maritime Boards/State Governments.
Major Ports in IndiaMinor Ports in India
There are 12 major ports in India, six on the eastern coast and six on the western coast.  Major ports are all under the regulatory authority of the Government of India and are controlled by the Major Port Trusts Act 1963, with the exception of Ennore port, that is controlled by the Companies Act 1956. Greater then 54% of the total cargo of India is being handled at 12 major ports in India.India has a total of 205 non-major ports. In FY21, non-major ports accounted for 46 percent of the overall cargo traffic at Indian ports. Non-major ports are governed by the Maritime Boards of the respective state governments (GMB).  
Ports in India
1Deendayal Port TrustGujarat
2Paradip Port TrustOdisha
3Jawaharlal Nehru Port TrustMaharashtra
4Visakhapatnam Port TrustAndhra Pradesh
5Mumbai Port TrustMaharashtra
6Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port TrustWest Bengal
7Chennai Port TrustTamil Nadu
8New Mangaluru Port TrustKarnataka
9V. O. Chidambaranar Port TrustTamil Nadu
10Cochin Port TrustKerala
11Kamarajar Port LimitedTamil Nadu
12Mormugao Port TrustGoa

Recent Trade Volume: Major ports handle 11 per cent more cargo in April-December 2021

ports in india
ports in india

Minor Ports in India

Some of the Important Minor ports of India are as follow:

Minor Ports in India

  • Azhikkal Port (Mouth of Valapattanam River Kerala)
  • Kannur (Kerala)
  • Kundapur (Udupi District Karnataka)
  • Dahej (Gujarat)
  • Jafrabad (Gulf of Cambay Gujarat)
  • Kasargod (Kerala)
  • Karaikal (Puducherry)
  • Gopalpur (Odisha)

Ports Model in India

Jawaharlal Nehru Port became the nation’s first large port to run all of its berths under a PPP model, making it a 100 per cent Landlord port of India. (July 2022)

Landlord port model

In this arrangement, private companies run port operations, which mostly involve moving cargo, while the port authority, which is run by the government, acts as a regulator and a landlord. 

Here, the infrastructure is rented out to private companies, which install their own cargo handling hardware, provide and maintain their own structural system, and continue to own the port even though the port authority retains the ultimate control. In exchange, the port owner gets some of the money that the private company makes.

Service Port Model

The port authority is in charge of monitoring and administering port operations under the service port model. Infrastructure, proper equipment, warehousing space, and competent workers are all part of the port’s activities. The port authority is in charge of constructing infrastructure, superstructures, and staffing. Even if the port authority operates in the best interests of the public, the state or government maintains total control of the port. Due to inefficiencies, service ports often operate at a loss. Because the port is state property and operations are overseen by port officials, workers go on strike to demand their demands.

Present situation in India

At the moment, most of India’s major port trusts are also in charge of running terminals. This makes for a hybrid type of port governance or service port model. When port authorities are involved in running terminals, it creates a conflict of interest and hurts the concept of port impartiality or neutrality.

Overview of Ports in India

  • In November 2020 Government of India renamed the Ministry of Shipping as the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
  • Ports in India handle and manages approximately 95% of the international trade volume of the country. The Increasing trade activities and private participation in port infrastructure are bound to further boost port infrastructure activity in India.
  • India has 12 major ports as shown in the Map. Under the National Plan for Sagarmala, six new mega ports will be created in India.
  • Capacity of India’s key ports stood at 1,534.91 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) in Financial Year 2020.
  • In Financial Year 2020, all the key ports in India together handled 704.93 million tonnes (MT) of cargo traffic implying a growth of 2.74% in FY16-20.
  • In the Union Budget 2020-21, the total allocation for the Ministry of Shipping stood at Rs. 1,702.35 crores (US$ 233.48 million).

Who Decides Tariff of Ports in India?

Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP)

  • The Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) is a multi-member statutory authority tasked with determining tariff rates levied by major port trusts under Union Govt control and private terminals within those trusts.
  • It is mandated not only to fix the rates, but also to govern how the rates are applied.
  • TAMP is legally supported by Sections 47-50 of the Major Port Trust Act, 1963
  • The Major Ports Authority Bill 2020 established the Board of Port Authority, which will now set tariffs that will be used as a reference during public-private-partnership (PPP) project bidding.

Recent Milestones achived by Ports In India

  • In August 2019, India became the first country in the whole world to issue Biometric Seafarer Identity Document (BSID), this system captures the facial biometric data of seafarers.
  • November 2019 witnessed the first-ever movement of container cargo on Brahmaputra (National Waterway 2), focused on improving the connectivity to Northeast Region (NER).
  • In 2019, an upgraded Port Community System was introduced for all ports.
  • On July 16, 2020, the first trial container ship was flagged off from Kolkata to Agartala via the Chattogram Port of Bangladesh. It will provide an alternate and shorter route to connect the Northeast region through Bangladesh and open doors of new opportunities for both countries.
  • Indian Ports handle almost 95% of trade volumes, and therefore, rising trade has contributed significantly to the cargo traffic.
  • Merchandise exports reached US$ 290.63 billion in FY21.
  • Increasing trade of India is translating into higher demand for containerisation due to their efficiency.

Policy ecosystem for Ports in India

  • In Union Budget 2021, the Government of India announced subsidy funding of Rs. 1,624 crore (US$ 222.74 million) to Indian shipping industries to encourage the merchant ship flagging in the country.
  • In February 2021, the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020 was enacted by the Parliament of India. The Act aims to align the governance model in central ports with international best practices.
  • 12 major ports were identified under the Sagarmala project for cargo handling until 2035. The objective of this project is to promote port-led development and to provide infrastructure to quickly transport goods to and from ports, with higher efficiency and at a lower cost.
  • In August 2020, the GOI announced its aims to invest Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) to construct a transhipment port at the Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal to provide shippers with an alternative port in the region. The Transshipment port will facilitate big ships to anchor due to its proximity to the East-West international shipping route and it will also raise India’s share in maritime trade.

Indian ports measures

  • For efficient operations, the Indian ports have implemented various measures such as an upgraded ‘Port Community System’ (PCS) for easy data flow, ‘Direct Port Delivery and ‘Direct Port Entry’.


  • The GOI has permitted FDI of up to 100% under the automatic route for projects related to the construction and maintenance of ports and harbours in India.
  • Indian ports received cumulative FDI inflow worth US$ 1.64 billion between April 2000 and December 2020.

 Price flexibility

  • Private ports enjoy price flexibility in India as the Government of India allows non-major ports to determine their tariffs in consultation with the State Maritime Boards. At major ports, tariffs are regulated by the Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP).

Project UNNATI

  • Project UNNATI was started by the Government of India to identify opportunity areas to improve operations of key ports. Under the project, 116 initiatives were identified, out of which, 98 initiatives have been implemented, as of September 2020.

Major Port Authorities Act, 2020

February 2021, the Major Port Authorities Act, 2020 was enacted by the Parliament of India. The act aims to decentralise decision-making and reinforce excellence in administration of major ports in India.

Gist of Major Port Authorities Act, 2020

  • It will boost the expansion of port infrastructure in India. Major Port Authorities Act 2020 focuses on decentralizing and makig decision making process transparent and infuse more professionalism in the governance of major ports in India.
  • It will reorient the governance model in central ports to landlord port model which is in line with the successful global practice. It will also help in bringing transparency in operations of Major Ports.
  • It will also empower the Major Ports in India to perform at greater efficiency on account of full autonomy in decision making and also by modernising the institutional framework of Major Ports.

features of the Major Port Authorities Act 2020

ApplicationIt applies to the 12 major ports of India 
Major Port Authorities BoardUnder the earlier 1963 Act, all major ports were managed by the respective Board of Port Trusts that have members appointed by the central government of india. The new act enables the creation of a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port. These new Boards will replace the existing Port Trusts.  
Composition of BoardThe New Board will consist of a Chairperson and a deputy Chairperson, both will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a selection committee.   other member One each from (i) respective state governments, (ii) Railways Ministry, (iii) Defence Ministry, (iv) Customs Department.   The Board will also include2 to 4 independent members, and 2 members representing the interests of the employees of the Major Port Authority.  
Powers of the BoardThe New Act allows the Board to use its property, assets and funds as it seems fit for the development of the major port.   The Board is also enabled to make rules on: (i) declaring availability of port assets for port related activities and services, (ii) developing infrastructure facilities such as setting up new ports, jetties. (iii) providing exemption or remission from payment of any charges on any goods or vessels.
Fixing of ratesCurrently, the TAMP -Tariff Authority for Major Ports, under the 1963 Act, fixes the rates for assets and services available at ports. Under the new act, the Board will determine these rates.  
Financial powers of the BoardUnder the 1963 Act, the Board has to take prior sanction of the GOI to raise any loan.  Now to meet its financial expenditure requirements, the Board may raise loans without prior permission. But, for loans above 50% of its capital reserves, prior sanction of the central government is still required.  
Corporate Social ResponsibilityThe New act authorises the Board to use its funds for providing social benefits. Such as education, health, housing, and skill development.    
Adjudicatory BoardAdjudicatory Board  will be constituted by the central government. It will replace the existing TAMP constituted under the 1963 Act.
PenaltiesUnder the New Act, any person contravening any provision of the Bill or any of its rules or regulations will be punished with a fine of up to one lakh rupees.

In conclusion, India has a lot to offer in terms of ports. With its strategic location and its vast coastline, India is well-positioned to become a major player in the maritime industry. The government should focus on developing the country’s ports infrastructure so that it can capitalize on this potential. Additionally, businesses should consider investing in India’s ports sector, as there is a lot of potential for growth.

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