Over the past few years, the port container traffic in India has been expanding at an average of 15 percent a year. At this rate, the container traffic is estimated to reach 38.91 million standard containers by 2020, according to a 10-year plan unveiled by the shipping ministry in January 2011.
Out of this, Jawaharlal Nehru (JN) port may handle 11 million standard containers by 2016 and 23 million standard containers by 2020.
However, inadequate capacity, congestion and equipment breakdowns often lead to delays and longer waiting time for ships in JN port. Terminal operators impose restrictions on crane movements —in some cases, ships aren’t given enough time to load containers. As a result, a ship departs, leaving as many as 400 containers at the berth, sources said.
At least three key capacity expansion projects at the port are stuck at various levels five years after they were initiated as India’s busiest container gateway struggles with congestion, hurting exporters and importers.