Top 10: Mundra busiest container port in India & Australia

Mundra & Melbourne top lists of busiest ports in India & Australia, with Jawaharlal & Chennai and Port Botany & Brisbane next in terms of container traffic


(NOTE: A Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU) is a unit of measurement used to determine cargo capacity for container ships and terminals. It's derived from the dimensions of a 20-foot standardized shipping container.)

5. Port of Kolkata

TEU handled in 2021: 557,000 
Located in West Bengal, and once known as Kolkata Port Trust, Kolkata is the oldest operating port in the country, and one of the 12 major ports controlled by the Indian government.

Hapag-Lloyd, the German container carrier, recently deployed a new Nepal-India inland freight service, linking the Inland Container Depot Birgunj, in Nepal, to the ports of Kolkata and Visakhapatnam, offering greater reliability to regional shippers.

4. V.O. Chidambaranar Port Trust

TEU handled in 2021: 593,090
Chidambaranar Port Trust is the most strategically located port in india, being situated close to the East-West International sea routes on the south-eastern coast of the country. It consists of two container terminals, which are operated by PSA Sical Terminals and Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal. Combined, these two terminals account for a total capacity of 1,050,000 TEU.

3. Port of Chennai

TEU handled in 2021: 970,583 
Formerly known as Madras Port, the Port of Chennai is an emerging hub port on the East Coast. It is home to the country’s first dedicated container terminal, which was opened in 1983. Now, it features three docks, 24 berths and a draft ranging from 8.5 metres to 16.5 metres.

In the early days of the pandemic, Chennai faced major congestion, as documents needed to process goods remained unsigned by shippers.

2. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT)

TEU handled in 2021: 4,177,211 
JNPT saw container traffic increase year on year by more than 29%. In July 2021, construction of a new berth for coastal shipping was completed, in a bid to improve India’s maritime efficiency. It was part-funded by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.

The berth will help coastal cargo movement and also help intermodal transportation by decongesting rail and road networks. 

Jawaharlal also has a strong focus on sustainability, furnishing container-handling staff with electric vehicles.

1. Mundra Port

TEU handled in 2021: 4,900,000
Mundra Port is jointly owned by Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ). The deep draft, all-weather port is the largest commercial port in India, and boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure. It also houses the largest coal import terminal. According to APSEZ, a total of 6,665,159 TEU passed through Mundra Port’s four container terminals in 2021.


5. Darwin Port

TEU handled in 2021: 20,707
Darwin Port is Australia’s closest port to Asia, and the nation’s ‘northern gateway’ for Australasian trade. Of the total TEU that passed through its facilities were 11,442 TEU in loaded imports and a further 9,265 TEU in exports.

4. Port of Fremantle

TEU handled in 2021: 778,614
Based in Perth, the Port of Fremantle processes nearly all of the container traffic for Western Australia, but also has facilities for the export of livestock, the import of vehicles, and can handle general cargo trades. It also accommodates cruise ships and naval vessels.

At the end of 2021 the Port of Rotterdam signed an agreement with the Government of Western Australia to collaborate on the development of the hydrogen supply chain.

3. Port of Brisbane

TEU handled in 2021: 1,554,061
For 2021, the Port of Brisbane received 730,252 TEU on imports, but of its exported 723,951 TEU, over half were empty containers.

Brisbane has received Around AU$500mn (US$362mn) of capital expenditure since it was privatised in 2010. A further AU$680mn US($493mn) has been pledged up to 2023 for further expansion and on developing wharf infrastructure to accommodate larger vessels.

2. Port Botany

TEU handled in 2021: 2,761,769 TEU
Located in South-Eastern Sydney, Port Botany is the largest container port in the state of New South Wales and has the country’s largest bulk liquids-facility. The impact of the pandemic, with its attendant increase in e-commerce purchases, saw the port grow significantly. 

The biggest driver of growth was the import of furniture, electrical items, white goods and goods for home renovation projects, as households spent money earmarked for holiday travel. Building material imports also increased.

1. Port of Melbourne

TEU handled in 2021: 3,278,635 
The Port of Melbourne, in Victoria, is the largest port for containerised and general cargo in Australia. It has a 2050 roadmap development strategy to respond to anticipated growth, which includes nine infrastructure projects designed to meet future freight volumes. One of these is the construction of a new port rail network, scheduled for completion in mid-2023. 

(With thanks to Port Technology News).


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