Cargo ship: Minister of Shipping aims for zero waiting times in major ports

Waiting times in India’s major ports are expected to be drastically reduced if Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s ambitious targets are met.

“There should be no waiting times for incoming and outgoing cargo. That means there should be no waiting for ships and trucks,” Sonowal said at a Shipping Ministry chintan baithak (thought conclave) on innovative ideas for boosting India’s blue economy. This should reduce the waiting time from currently around one day for docking in the major ports to zero.

In fiscal year 2020, the average time to dock a cargo ship in a major port was approximately 0.95 days. The pre-berthing period is the waiting time for a ship before it makes its berth in a port.

According to official estimates, the container handling time in the major Indian ports is around 26.5 hours. This is down from around 45 hours in 2013-14.

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Sonowal said the focus must be on public-private partnership (PPP) projects in greenfield port development. “We need to look at the PPP model … that will also free up government resources for greenfield port development. This will comprehensively develop the coastal regions to bring a more comfortable life to the people living in these areas, while helping the businesses to benefit from the best services through ease.”

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