DMPQ- What are the biggest issues India’s port sector’s facing ?

Development of port infrastructure in India is not on par with the other ports across  the world. Trade in India has to face severe challenges due to inefficient port services.  Shipping lines avoid touching ports in India because of the long waiting time. The capacity  of various ports including Mumbai has already been exhausted and now capacities of other  ports such as JNPT are on the verge of exhaustion.

Port development has to seen in a holistic and comprehensive manner and not in  isolation. They have to emerge as integrated transport centers as logistics platform covering  links to the hinter land with the rail road network. There has to be complementarities  between rail, road and ports, seen as one and not separately.

Indian ports are not equipped to handle large containers as a result ships are re-routed  and parked at other larger ports and cargos are loaded in smaller vessels to facilitate  their entry/exit out of the country. This raises costs and also transit time. India is heavily  dependent on Colombo as a transshipment hub which has both economic as well as  political implications.

India also needs 24 x 7 custom cargo clearance facilities besides excessive paperwork  and documentation requirement solely increase transaction cost. Average turn-around  time of vessels of 3.5 days is very high compared to the international standards which are  only in hours and not in days. This is a critical factor which delays consignments making  them uncertain, unreliable and uncompetitive in comparison to other ports.

Indian ports also have a high through put and transport cost because of an inefficient,  unorganized and un-coordinated truck movement which not only increase costs but also  takes more time. It is also subject to frequent labor unrests, which disrupts loading and  un-loading at ports.

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