Karnataka: New Mangalore Port betters cargo handle in Q1 despite Covid constraints | Mangaluru News – Times of India

MANGALURU: New Mangalore Port, the gateway to Karnataka apparently has shielded itself well from the impact of the global pandemic. This can be gauged from the fact that the port, one of the 14 major ports in India has surpassed cargo handled in the previous quarter of last fiscal in the corresponding quarter this year. This is the result of strict adherence to SOP laid down to ensure uninterrupted cargo handling during the pandemic, says A V Ramana, chairman.
The port handled 9.2 million tonnes of cargo during the quarter ending June 30 this year against 8.9MT of cargo handled in the first quarter of last fiscal. This improvement has come despite handling 277 vessels against 321 vessels handled during Q1 of FY 19-20. Average pre-berthing delays (1.68 days to 1.44 days), average turnaround time of vessels (48.74-hrs to 47.8- hrs) and average output per berth (14,774 tonnes to 17,746 tonnes) too improved.
Increased unloading of crude oil for Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve (ISPRL) mainly aided in rise in traffic volume during Q1 of the current fiscal. Against 2.5MT of crude unloaded during Q1 of 2019-20, the port unloaded 4 MT in the first quarter this fiscal in line with the government’s move to build crude reserves when the international prices bottomed out during April-May.
The performance is notable in that there was drastic reduction in demand from major captive cargo consumers such as JSW Steel, cement industries in North Karnataka and Udupi Power Corporation Ltd, Ramana said on this improved cargo handling during the pandemic. Crude import helped make good the reduction in demand in other sectors. Captive cargo, including crude and coal, constituted 78% of the port traffic, Ramana noted.
This performance is also noteworthy in that MRPL was functioning to just about 40% of its capacity due to reduced demand for fuel. KIOCL could not dispatch three consignments to China during the period, Ramana said. The ban on cruise vessels too had its impact on the revenue if not the cargo side. Container traffic, fertilisers helped the port tide over the crisis, he said adding alternative business plans neutralised the threat of Covid19 largely.

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Sagar Biswas

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