India has a coastline spanning 7516.6 kilometres, forming one of the biggest peninsulas in the world. According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, around 95 per cent of India's trading by volume and 70 per cent by value is done through maritime transport. It is serviced by 13 major ports (12 Government-owned and one private) and 187 notified minor and intermediate ports. Port Blair which was notified as major port in 2010 was removed of its status recently. The total 200 major and non-major ports are present in the following States: Maharashtra (53); Gujarat (40); Tamil Nadu (15); Karnataka (10) and others (82).
Government of India plans to modernise these ports and has approved a project called Sagarmala. The ports and shipping industry in India play a vital role in sustaining growth in the country's trade and commerce. The Indian Government has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100 per cent under the automatic route for port and harbour construction and maintenance projects. The government has also initiated National Maritime Development Programme (NMDP), an initiative to develop the maritime sector with a planned outlay of US$11.8 billion.
Classification of ports
Indian government has a quasi-federal structure, and according to its constitution, maritime transport is to be administered by both the Central and the State governments. While the central government's shipping ministry administers the major ports, the minor and intermediate ports are administered by the relevant departments or ministries in the nine coastal states Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Several of these 187 minor and intermediate ports have been identified by the respective governments to be developed, in a phased manner, a good proportion of them involving public–private partnership.
Major ports handled over 74% of all cargo traffic in 2007. All except Kamarajar Port Limited are government administered, but private sector participation in ports has increased. There are also 7 shipyards under the control of the central government of India, 2 shipyards controlled by state governments, and 19 privately owned shipyards.
As of 2000, there were 102 shipping companies operating in India, of which five were privately owned and based in India and one was owned by Shipping Corporation of India. There were 639 government-owned ships, including 91 oil tankers, 79 dry cargo bulk carriers, and 10 cellular container vessels. Indian-flagged vessels carried about 15 percent of overseas cargo at Indian ports for financial year 2003.
As of January 2020, India has 30% share of ship breaking with annual US$1.1 billion revenue, which is lower than its potential business since India is not a signatory to Hong Kong International Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. Due to which treaty signatory nations, such as USA, Europe and Japan are not sending ships to India for breaking. India plans to pass the "Recycling of Ships Act, 2019" to ratifies the Hong Kong treaty. This will allow India to capture its targeted 60% in the global ship breaking business while doubling the annual to US$2.3 billion target. India's Alang-Sosiya Ship Breaking Yard is world's largest ships' graveyard. Other ships' graveyard in India is the "Steel Industrials Kerala Limited".
Largest Port - Nhava Sheva port (Maharashtra)
Second largest Port- Chennai Port (Madras)
|million tonnes||% Increase
(over previous FY)
|'000 TEUs||% Increase|
(over previous FY)
|Deendayal Port Trust||Gujarat||110.10||4.42% ↑||117||95.73% ↑|
|Paradip Port Trust||Odisha||102.01||14.68% ↑||7||71.43% ↑|
|Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust||Maharashtra||66.00||6.20% ↑||4,833||6.89% ↑|
|Visakhapatnam Port Trust||Andhra Pradesh||63.54||4.12% ↑||389||5.66% ↑|
|Mumbai Port Trust||Maharashtra||62.83||-0.35% ↓||42||-2.38% ↓|
|Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust||West Bengal||57.89||13.61% ↑||796||3.02% ↑|
|Chennai Port Trust||Tamil Nadu||51.88||3.32% ↑||1,549||3.49% ↑|
|New Mangaluru Port Trust||Karnataka||42.06||5.28% ↑||115||17.39% ↑|
|V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust||Tamil Nadu||36.58||-4.91% ↓||698||8.02% ↑|
|Kamarajar Port Limited||Tamil Nadu||30.45||1.42% ↑||3||100.00% ↑|
|Kochi Port Trust||Kerala||32.02||16.52% ↑||620||11.69% ↑|
|Mormugao Port Trust||Goa||26.90||-18.94% ↓||32||6.25% ↑|
|All Ports||India||679.37||4.77% ↑||9,138||7.62% ↑|
- "MoS, GoI". Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 March 2019.
- "Cabinet gives 'in principle' nod to concept of Sagarmala project". Economic Times, Times of India. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- India eyes 60 per cent share of global ship recycling business; higher GDP contribution, Economic Times, 30 December 2019.
- "Operational Details". Indian Ports Association. Retrieved 17 December 2014.
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