Mundra Edges Out JNPT to Become India's Busiest Container Port

embassy mundra
Mundra Port (file image courtesy Embassy of Luxembourg in New Delhi)

Published Apr 15, 2021 3:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

Container volumes handled by Mundra Port in the Indian state of Gujarat expanded by 18 percent in its 2021 fiscal year, overtaking Mumbai's Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT). Mundra handled nearly 5.7 million TEU of cargo over the course of the fiscal year ending March 31, while JNPT handled only around 4.7 million TEUs over the same period - a decline of seven percent year-on-year.

Mundra Port is the flagship port of Adani Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ), headed by Indian industrialist Gautam Adani. The conglomerate is India's largest private port operator.

In FY21, Mundra handled over 140 million tonnes of cargo, marking a steady growth of four percent on a year-on-year basis, according to Hindu Business Line.

APSEZ has been on an acquisition spree recently, with the port acquiring a 31.5 percent stake in Gangavaram Port Limited (GPL), located near Vishakhapatnam. It is part of the company's large scale “string of ports” acquisition strategy.

For a country that has seen large-scale government investments in port infrastructure for decades now, a private player taking the title of the biggest container port marks a new era in the Indian chapter. APSEZ, with its combined port holdings, constitutes 24 percent of India’s port capacity. Running 12 ports and terminals across India, it has become the largest port developer and operator in the country. APSEZ operates Mundra, Dahej, Tuna, and Hazira in Gujarat; Visakhapatnam, and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh; Dhamra in Odisha; Mormugao in Goa; Dighi in Maharashtra; and Kattupalli and Ennore in Chennai.