India is the 16th largest maritime country in the world with a coastline of about 7000 km. Around 95 % of India’s trading by volume & 70 % by value is done through maritime transport.
India has 12 major and 205 notified minor ports. Ports and Terminals is all about state-of-the-art technology, efficiency and manpower at par with the international standards offering cost-effective integrated logistics solutions. It is also about ensuring security and safety of life, equipment and cargo.
The term Harbour is a place on the coast where ships and boats can get shelter from a stormy weather whereas Port is a location on the coast that can be used to load and unload the cargo. Harbours do not provide as many facilities as ports. The port can be natural or an artificial.
Large ports deal with a number of activities such as the movement of ships, containers, cargos, their loading-unloading and customs activities. It considers all operational aspects of port functions such as financing, legal aspects, planning & marketing.
Most of the ports are well-equipped with fork lifts and gantry cranes to facilitate regular dealings of cargo. Ports can be of great significance to a nation as it promotes the trade welfare. Ports can also be of military importance as they are used to keep the warships before moving out to the battle scene.
When a ship is purchased for importing and exporting goods, a ship management team is required to maintain and operate the vessels. Common duties of shipping managers include packing items for shipment, verifying the contents of received packages, monitoring subordinate employees and ordering supplies.
The depth of the ports play a crucial role in allowing various types of ships to enter and dock at the port. Port operations are a necessary tool to enable maritime trade between trading partners. Port terminal managers are responsible for planning, administering and reviewing the operations on a port terminal so as to optimize resource, minimize costs and maintain quality standards.
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai is India’s No. 1 container port which is handling 55% of the container cargo across all major ports in India. Today it occupies a prominent place among the most modern ports in India. It is also listed among the top 30 global container ports and one of the most modern major ports of the country.
Another example is MEARSK. It is the world’s largest container shipping company which moves 12 million containers every year and delivers them to every corner of the globe. Their focus is on solving customer’s supply chain needs from end to end by developing innovative solutions, fusing their global network with digital innovations to stay ahead.
The Indian Government has allowed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of up to 100% for port and harbour construction and maintenance projects. Maharashtra accounts for 10% or 720 km of India’s coastline but water and cargo transport accounts for only around 6%. Hence the Maharashtra government has identified five creeks namely Vasai, Jaigad, Rajapuri, Dabhol and Bhankot to explore the possibility of developing ports. The policy would look at ways to increase this traffic.
The ‘Port & Terminal Management’ being very niche, the future and the employability in this sector is very high.