Major Ports


This port is located at the western end of Rann of Kachchh. It was the first port developed soon after the independe nce to ease the increased pressure on Mumbai port in the wake of loss of Karachi port to Pakistan. In order to cater to the northwestern part of the country, Kandla was developed as a major port. The trahandled at Kandla consists of crude oil, petroleum products, fertilizers, food grains, salt, cotton, cement, sugar, edible oils and scrap. The offshore terminal at Vadinar has been developed to reduce pressure at Kandla port.


It is a natural harbour on the west coast of India. It handles approximately one- h of India’s foreign trade with predominance in dry cargo and mineral oil from the Gulf countries. It is the biggest port of India. It handles foreign trade with the Western countries and East African countries. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 brought it much closer to the European countries. The port is 20 km long and 6-10 km wide with 54 berths and has the country’s largest oil terminal.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port

It has been developed at Nhava Sheva, othe Mumbai port across the famous Elephanta Caves about 10 km from Mumbai. This port has drastically reduced pressure on Mumbai port. It is the largest container port in India.


It is an important port of Goa located at the entrance of Zuari estuary and occupies h position in handling the tract. For a long period, it handled the export of iron ore from Goa. The other items of export are ship products, coconut and spices. Among import consignments are fertilisers, chemicals, food articles etc. e opening of Konkan railway has considerably extended its hinterland.

New Mangalore

It is situated on the coast of Karnataka and handles export of iron ore from Kundremukh. It also handles import of fertilizers, petroleum products, edible oil, coffee, tea, wood, pulp, yarn and other cargo.

Kochi (Cochin)

It is another natural harbour located on the coast of Kerala. Cochin has sheltered backwater bay. Located at the head of Vembanad Kayal, popularly known as “Queen of the Arabian Sea” it is the most important port of Kerala. It handles the export of tea, coffee and spices and imports of mineral oil and chemical fertilizers. The Cochin Oil Refinery receives crude oil through this port. It caters to the needs of Kerala, south Karnataka and southwestern Tamil Nadu.


It is a riverine port located at the bank of Hugli river about 128 km inland from the Bay of Bengal. Like Mumbai this port was also developed by the British and had the initial advantage of being the capital of British India. It is a tidal port and requires constant dredging of Hughli for maintaining a minimum level of water in the river to ensure its navigability. Water is supplied from the Farrakka barrage on the Ganga. Kolkata port serves very large and rich hinterland. Kolkata port handles goods coming from South-East Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand. Kolkata port has lost much of its significance due to development of Vishakhapattanam and Paradweep posts and its satellite port of Haldia.


This port has recently been developed on the river Hugli about 105 km downstream from Kolkata. Its main purpose is to release congestion at Kolkata. Haldia has an oil refinery. It receives larger vessels which otherwise would have gone to Kolkata. Kolkata and Haldia ports jointly handle a variety of cargo, among them engineering goods, machines, petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, tea, sugar, iron and steel, jute and jute products, cotton and cotton yarn are major ones.


Paradwip is located on the Odisha coast at the Mahanadi delta, about 100 km from Cuttack. It handles iron ore and coal along with some other dry cargo.


It is the deepest land-locked and protected port connected to sea by a channel cut through solid rock and sand. An outer harbour has been developed to handle the export of iron ore. Elaborate arrangements have been made to handle crude oil and other petroleum products. It also handles fertilizers.


Chennai is the oldest artificial harbour on the East Coast of India. It mainly handles petroleum products, fertilizers, iron ore and general cargo. Chennai is often hit by cyclones in October and November and shipping becomes difficult during this season. It is ill-suited for large ships because of the lesser depth of water near the coast.


A new port has recently been constructed 25 km north of Chennai. It has been developed to reduce the pressure on Chennai port. The Ennore Port Company Limited manage s this port. It is first Corporate Major Port in India.


It has also been recently developed at the coast of Tamil Nadu and handles the tract of coal, salt, food grains, edible oil, sugar and petroleum products.


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