Currently, there are 13 main Sea ports in India and 200 minor ports. These 13 major and 200 minor ports are situated along the 7516 Km long coastline of India.
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▪ There are 13 main ports and 200 non-major ports (minor ports) in the country.
▪ While the Major Ports are under the administrative control of the Ministry of Shipping, the non-major ports are under the jurisdiction of respective State Maritime Boards/ State governments.
▪ All the 13 Major ports are functional.
▪ Out of the 200 non-major ports, around 65 ports are handled cargo and the others are “Port Limits” where no cargo is handled and these are used by fishing vessels and by small ferries to carry passengers across the creeks.
▪ The total of 200 major and non-major ports are present in the following States-
Gujarat – 40
Tamil Nadu – 15
Karnataka – 10 and others -82
▪ According to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, around 95 percent of India’s trading by volume and 70 percent by value are done through maritime transport.
▪ Previously India has 14 major ports including Port Blair port, located on Andaman and Nicobar islands.
▪ Due to a lack of container traffic, Port Blair lost its ‘major port’ tag.
▪ Government of India plans to modernize these ports and has approved a project called Sagarmala
▪ The Indian Government has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100 percent under the automatic route for port and harbour construction and maintenance projects.
List of Major Sea Ports in India
|Sl. No||Port Name||State|
|Ports located on The Eastern Coast of India|
|1||Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port|
|2.||Haldia Port||West Bengal|
|4.||Visakhapatnam Port||Andhra Pradesh|
|6.||Chennai Port||Tamil Nadu|
|7.||V.O Chidambaranar Port|
|Ports located on the Western Coast of India|
|9.||New Mangalore Port||Karnataka|
|12.||Jawaharlal Nehru Port|
Major sea ports in India map
Main Sea Ports in India: Key Facts
Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port
▪ Kolkata Port is officially known as Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port.
▪ It is the only riverine port of India located on the left bank of the Hooghly river.
▪ Kolkata port handles goods coming from South-East Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
▪ Kolkata port is called the ‘Gateway to Eastern India’.
▪ Major exporting items include Jute products, tea, coal, steel, iron ore, copper, leather and leather products etc.
▪ Major import consists mainly of machinery, crude oil, paper, fertilizers, and chemical products.
▪ The port has two distinct dock systems _
- Kolkata Docks in Kolkata.
- It has a deep water dock complex at Haldia Dock Complex.
▪ It has a massive hinterland comprising the whole North East of India, including West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, North East Hill States, and two landlocked neighboring countries, Nepal and Bhutan.
Haldia Dock Complex
▪ Haldia port was built at the confluence of rivers Hoogly and Haldi.
▪ Its main purpose is to release congestion at Kolkata port.
▪ The main items of trade are mineral oil and petroleum products.
▪ Paradip Port was established by the late Biju Patnaik, the then Chief Minister of Odisha.
▪ Paradip Port is the sole Principal Port in the State of Odisha.
▪ It is a natural, deepwater port located on the eastern coast of India, Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha.
▪ On 1st June 1965, the Government of India acquired the management of the Port of the Government of Odisha on 1st June 1965.
▪ On 18th April 1966, It was declared the 8th major port of India by the government of India.
▪ It has a vast hinterland, it covers the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal.
▪ Paradip Port has the advantage of soft underwater soil, which is why it can be operated at any depth by cutting out the soft soil easily according to need.
▪ Visakhapatnam Port is the largest port on the eastern coast of India, Andhra Pradesh.
▪ By volume of cargo handled, It is India’s third-largest state-owned port and the largest in the
▪ Visakhapatnam port was an ancient Port city that had trade relations with the Middle East and Rome.
▪ It is formerly known as Ennore Port.
▪ Kamarajar Port located on the Coromandel Coast, Chennai
▪ Kamarajar Port is the 12th major port in India.
▪ It is the first public company port in India.
▪ Chennai Port is the third oldest key port among the 13 major ports in India.
▪ Earlier the Chennai Port was known as Madras Port.
▪ After Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva port, It is the second largest container port in India.
▪ It is an all-weather artificial port with wet docks.
V. O. Chidambaram Port
▪ V. O. Chidambaram Port is the second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and the third-largest container terminal in India.
▪ It is an artificial port.
▪ Strategically located very close to the East-West International Sea Route.
▪ It has services to the USA, China, Europe, Sri Lanka, and Mediterranean countries.
▪ It is also the first transshipment port in India.
▪ The harbour spans two islands in Lake Kochi, namely Willingdon Island and Vallarpadam Island.
New Mangalore Port
▪ The New Mangalore port is the only major port in the state of Karnataka.
▪ It was declared as the 9th Major Port on 4th May 1974.
▪ The major commodities imported through the Port are Cement, coal, fertilizer, edible oil,
liquid chemicals, containerized cargo, etc.
▪ Hinterland of New Mangalore Port lies in Karnataka and the northern part of Kerala.
▪ Its main importance lies in the export of iron ore from the Kudremykh mines.
▪ With the emergence of mining of Iron ore as a major industry in Goa, a master plan was evolved by the Portuguese for the development of Mormugao Port as an iron ore terminal.
▪ The port, is located at the entrance of the Zuvari estuary.
▪ Major items of exports are iron ore, Manganese, Coconut, and Cotton.
▪ It has a comparatively small hinterland covering the whole of Goa and parts of north Karnataka and southern Maharashtra.
▪ This port is well connected through Konkan Railway.
▪ Mumbai port is a Natural harbour on the West Coast of India.
▪ It is considered the biggest port in India.
▪ It handles foreign trade with Western countries and East African countries.
▪ It has a vast hinterland covering the whole of Maharashtra and large parts of Madhya
Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Delhi.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port
▪ Jawaharlal Nehru Port is formerly known as Nhava Sheva port.
▪ This new port has been built on an island named Nhava Sheva across the famous Elephanta caves.
▪ The main purpose of this port is to release pressure on the Mumbai Port.
▪ Nhava Sheva Port is considered the largest container port in India.
▪ Formerly known as Kandala Port.
▪ Deendayal is a seaport located on the Gulf of Kutch, Kutch district, Gujarat.
▪ The Kandla Port was built in 1950.
▪ It is a natural harbour in Kandala creek.
▪ Kandla port was built for serving Western India, due to the partition of India leaving the port of
Karachi in Pakistan.
▪ The first special economic zone to be established in India and in Asia is the Kandla port
Special Economic Zone (KASEZ).
▪ Kandla port is the first Export Processing region/ Zone in India.
▪ Hinterland of kandala port covers the maximum portion of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab,
Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Ladakh.
▪ Major imported products from Kandla Port are petroleum, chemical substances, and iron and steel and iron machinery, but it also handles salt, textiles, and grain.
Government Initiatives for Port Sector
▪ The Union Budget 2021, taking cues from the government’s Blue Economy policy, has allocated funds for the expansion of shipping and inland waterways infrastructure, along with a budget of ₹2,000 crores for PPP models in major ports.
▪ The Make in India initiative is also being promoted, as the Ministry of Shipping has revised the guidelines of Right of First Refusal (ROFR) licensing conditions, giving priority to vessels built in India, flagged in the country, and owned by Indians for chartering.
▪ Additionally, a National Logistics Portal (Marine) will be developed to assist exporters, importers, and service providers, while the Ministry of Shipping has created a dispute redressal portal, SAROD-Ports’ (Society for Affordable Redressal of Disputes – Ports), for private players.
▪ Finally, the Parliament has passed the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020, which seeks to repeal the Major Ports Trust Act, 1963, and establish a Board of Major Port Authority for each major port.
Previous Year Questions on Major sea Ports in India
1. Which of the following industries are the major beneficiaries of the Mumbai port? [SSC Tax Assistant 2006]
A. Iron and Steel industry
B. Sugar and Cotton textile industry
C. Cotton textile and Petrochemical industry
D. Engineering and Fertilizer industry
Answer –C. Cotton textile and Petrochemical industry
2. Kudremukh Iron-ore is exported from which two ports? [SSC Combined Matric Level (PRE) 2002]
A. Kandla and Mumbai
B. Marmugoa and Mangalore
C. Kochi and Tuticorin
D. Paradip and Kolkata
Answer –B. Marmugoa and Mangalore
3. Which port in India has a free trade zone? [SSC Combined Matric Level (PRE) 2002]
Answer –C. Kandla
4. Which of the following ports has the largest hinterland? [SSC Section Officer (Commercial Audit) 2007]
Answer –C. Mumbai
5. Which one of the following is a major port on the East Coast of India? [SSC CPO 2011]
D. Pondicherry (Puducherry)
Answer –B. Vishakhapatnam
6. Which one of the following ports is located on the eastern coast of India? [SSC Combined Matric Level (PRE) 2001]
Answer –D. Paradeep
7. Which of the following is an inland river port? [SSC Combined Matric Level (PRE) 2002]
Answer –A. Kolkata
8. The ports located along the eastern coast of India are: [SSC Stenographer (Grade ‘C’ & ‘D’) 2010]
A. Kandla and Haldia
B. Haldia arid Cochin
C. Paradeep and Kandla
D. Paradeep and Haldia
Answer –D. Paradeep and Haldia
9. Which is the artificial port of India? [SSC (10+2) Level Data Entry Operator & LDC 2011]
C. Chennai or Madras
Answer –C. Chennai or Madras
10. How many major sea ports are there in India? [(SSC (10+2) 2011)]
Answer –D. 13
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Answer: Mumbai Port (Maharashtra)
Answer: Kolkata Port or Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (It was commissioned in 1870)
Answer: Nhava Sheva Port (built in 1989)
Answer: Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh (16.5 meters deep)
Answer: Vadhavan Port, Maharashtra
Answer: At present, there are 13 major ports in India.
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