Map showing the location of airports and seaports in India
Map showing the location of airports and seaports in India

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 68 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); Kerala (20); Tamil Nadu (15); Karnataka (10) and others (63).[1] Government of India plans to modernise these ports and associated infrastructure through the 2015 established Sagarmala project,[2] and National Maritime Development Programme.[3]

Classification of ports

Indian government has a 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.

Ship breaking

As of January 2020, India has 30% share of ship breaking with annual US$1.1 billion revenue. India is a signatory to Hong Kong International Convention for the safe and environmentally sound recycling of ships. India plans to pass the "Recycling of Ships Act, 2019" to ratify 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.[4] India's Alang-Sosiya Ship Breaking Yard is world's largest ships' graveyard.[4] Other ship graveyards in India is the Steel Industrials Kerala Limited breaking unit.[5]

Cargo handled

The following table gives the detailed data about the major ports of India[6] (Source: Indian Ports Association)

Name City State Cargo Handled
Container Traffic


million tonnes % Increase
(over previous FY)
'000 TEUs % Increase
(over previous FY)
Deendayal Port Trust Kandla Gujarat 110.10 4.42% ↑ 117 95.73% ↑
Paradip Port Authority Paradeep Odisha 102.01 14.68% ↑ 7 71.43% ↑
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust Navi Mumbai Maharashtra 66.00 6.20% ↑ 4,833 6.89% ↑
Visakhapatnam Port Trust Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh 63.54 4.12% ↑ 389 5.66% ↑
Mumbai Port Trust Mumbai Maharashtra 62.83 -0.35% ↓ 42 -2.38% ↓
Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust Kolkata West Bengal 57.89 13.61% ↑ 796 3.02% ↑
Chennai Port Trust Chennai Tamil Nadu 51.88 3.32% ↑ 1,549 3.49% ↑
New Mangaluru Port Trust Mangaluru Karnataka 42.06 5.28% ↑ 115 17.39% ↑
V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust Thoothukkudi Tamil Nadu 36.58 -4.91% ↓ 698 8.02% ↑
Cochin Port Trust Kochi Kerala 32.02 16.52% ↑ 735 11.69% ↑
Kamarajar Port Limited Chennai Tamil Nadu 30.45 1.42% ↑ 3 100.00% ↑
Mormugao Port Trust Mormugao Goa 26.90 -18.94% ↓ 32 6.25% ↑
All Ports India 679.37 4.77% ↑ 9,138 7.62% ↑


  1. ^ "MoS, GoI". Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Cabinet gives 'in principle' nod to concept of Sagarmala project". Economic Times, Times of India. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. ^ "National Maritime Development Programme". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b India eyes 60 per cent share of global ship recycling business; higher GDP contribution, Economic Times, 30 December 2019.
  5. ^ Sucheth, P R (26 May 2014). "Locals up in Arms against SILK Ship-breaking Unit". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 3 February 2022.
  6. ^ "Operational Details". Indian Ports Association. Retrieved 17 December 2014.