“If transportation system is the lifeline of a country, then maritime industry is its pacemaker.”

Since the inception of human civilization, transportation system has been playing a crucial role in attaining our objectives and fostering our growth. The earliest means of transport in history were simply walking and swimming. And all thanks to our sharp minds that helped us in inventing and modifying various means of transport via roadways and waterways and making our lives easier and better. Talking particularly about the waterways, this system is indispensable to any country’s progress. If had not been waterways, then Vasco da Gama might not be able to able to find India and thus “No Globalization, No Liberalization”.
India has an extensive network of inland and outland waterways in the form of oceans, seas, rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks. According to the Ministry of Shipping, around 95% of India’s trading in terms of volume and 70% in terms of value of good is done through maritime transport. There are 12 major and 200 notified minor and intermediate ports in India. The Government of India has introduced several incentives to stimulate the growth of ports sector. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% under the automatic route for port and harbour construction and maintenance projects. A 10-year tax exemption is also facilitated to the enterprises and firms that develop, maintain and operate ports, inland waterways and inland harbours.

All major and minor ports are governed by the Indian Ports Act of 1908 which defines inter-alia port limits for each ports listed therein. Major ports are managed by their respective Board of Trustees constitued for each port which are governed by the Major Port Trusts act of 1963. Minor Ports are managed by their respective state govt. while in some states there are statutory maritime boards which acts as a delegatee.
India has a coastline spanning 7157 km, forming one of the biggest peninsulas in the world. India is the sixteenth largest maritime country in the world. The 12 major ports across the western and eastern coast are:-
Ports on western coast:-
1. Kandla Port:- This port was formed after Karachi was given to Pakistan during the partition. It is a seaport in Kutch District of Gujarat state in western India, near the city of Gandhidham. Located on the Gulf of Kutch, it is one of major ports on west coast.
2. Mumbai:- Mumbai is the biggest and the busiest port in India as well as in the world. During the year 2007-08 the annual            container volume of the port was 118,000 TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) and the annual cargo tonnage for the same year was 57.04 million tonnes.
3. Jawahar Lal Nehru/ Nhava Sheva:- The JLNP is the largest container port of the country. Major exports from Jawaharlal Nehru Port are textiles, sporting goods, carpets, textile machinery, boneless meat, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The main imports are chemicals, machinery, plastics, electrical machinery, vegetable oils and aluminium and other non-ferrous metals.
4. Marmugao Port:- Also known as the natural harbour of the country, it has contributed immensely to the maritime industry of the country. It is the leading iron ore exporting port of India with an annual throughput of around 27.33 million tonnes of iron ore traffic.
5. Mangalore/ Panambur:- This port is the leading exporting port of kudremukh iron ore. It the deepest inner harbour on the west coast, the only major port of Karnataka and the seventh largest port of the country. The major commodities exported through the port are iron ore concentrates & pellets, iron ore fines, manganese, granite stones, coffee, cashew and containerized cargo.
6. Cochin:- The Cochin port was formed naturally due to the great floods of Periyar in 1341 AD. It is one of the largest and oldest ports in India. The 2 wharfs of the port are operated by Cochin Port Trust and Dubai Ports World and is owned by Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India.
Ports on the Eastern Coast:-
1. Kolkata-Haldia: -  This is the oldest operating port in India, and was constructed by the British East India Company. The Annual revenue of this port is estimated to be ₹1,242.23 crores and the Net income is estimated to be ₹70.24 crores. The Major exports of this port are; Iron ore, leather, cotton textiles.
2. Paradip Port: -  The land on which the port was built was once a mangrove swamp, used large by local villagers for hunting, fishing and the collection of wood. The Port commenced operations with the export of a few thousand tons of iron ore, and has subsequently grown to the point of handling more than 50 million tonnes of cargo during the 1st decade of the 21st century.
3. Visakhapatnam: - It is the oldest shipyard of the country and is the largest shipping port on the eastern coast. The major exports are the export of manganese ore.
4. Chennai: -  It is one of the oldest ports of the country, is the second largest container port of India. It is an ISO 14001:2004 and ISPS-certified port and has become a main line port having direct connectivity to more than 50 ports around the world. The major exports of this port are vehicles, chassis, machinery, friction materials etc.
5. Ennore Port: - This port is considered to be the most modern port and is the first port to be operated by a public company. This port is officially renamed Kamarajar Port Ltd. The major exports of this port includes thermal coal, iron ore, petroleum, oil and lubricants.
6. Tuticorin: - V.O. Chidambaranar Port, formerly Tuticorin Port is the southernmost port of the country. The major exports this port are general cargo, building materials, liquid cargoes, sugar, granite, limonite ore.
The Indian Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, Mr Nitin Gadkari, announced a massive investment in India’s ports and roads sector, which is likely to help boost the country’s economy. The Indian government plans to develop 10 coastal economic regions as part of plans to revive the country’s Sagarmala (string of ports) project.
The zones would be converted into manufacturing hubs, supported by port modernisation projects, and could span 300–500 km of the coastline. The government is also looking to develop the inland waterway sector as an alternative to road and rail routes to transport goods to the nation’s ports and hopes to attract private investment in the sector.
Market Size: -
According to the Ministry of Shipping, Cargo traffic handled by India’s major ports increased 5.1 per cent year-on-year to 315.4 million tonnes (MT) during April-September 2016. In terms of composition of cargo traffic, the largest commodity was P.O.L. (37.1 per cent), followed by coal (23.4 per cent), container traffic (19.6 per cent), other cargo (11.9 per cent), iron ore (5.66 per cent) and Fertilizer and FRM (2.5 per cent).
The government has taken several measures to improve operational efficiency through mechanization, deepening the draft and speedy evacuations. In FY 2015-16, the Indian Port sector witnessed capacity addition of 94 Million Tonnes Per Ann-um (MTPA), which is the highest in the history of major ports
Future Aspects: -
Increasing investments and cargo traffic point towards a healthy outlook for the Indian ports sector. Providers of services such as operation and maintenance (O&M), pilot-age and harboring and marine assets such as barges and dredgers are benefiting from these investments.
With increase in initiative to promote domestic product, there is an increase in co-ordination between various means of transportation system; airways, roadways and waterways. Companies like GoodsOnMove, people now can rely and get their work done within time and of course their budget.
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It is a logistic firm focusing on truck booking with the transportation of freight all over India. We provide our clients a bidding platform which focuses on individual consignments and consignees.

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