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List of the 13 Largest Ports in India for Export Import Products

Key Highlights:

  • Chennai Port, in Tamil Nadu, is the biggest sea port in India. It is a significant port on India's east coast that handles many goods, adding to its marine trade.

  • An overview of India's largest ports' historical and economic significance, focusing on their involvement in international trade.

  • Surat was India's first port in 1498, and the Portuguese and British helped build significant trading centers.

  • Total ports in India are classified according to their strengths, which include JNPT, Mundra Port, Chennai Port, Kolkata Port, Kandla Port, Visakhapatnam Port, and Mumbai Port.

  • Mumbai Port is recognized as India's largest port in terms of size and maritime trade.

  • Encourage readers to contact ExportImportData for additional insights and market research on India's trade data.

Did you know that? Ports have long served as the foundation of the global economy and trade. Every year, billions of dollars are transported through India's numerous seaports. India also boasts the longest coastline in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean was named after the country. Also, several ports in India are significant to the country. These biggest seaports in India are crucial to the economy and help keep the country connected to the rest of the globe. Mumbai is India's largest port and one of Asia's most significant. In this blog post, we will explore the largest ports in India for export import products. We also discuss India's main ports that handle import and export traffic. And many more interesting facts. 

What is a port?

A port is merely a site where commodities can be transferred from one mode of transportation to another. These ports in any country facilitate the management of foreign trade and distribution. Ports are typically located on oceans, seas, or other waterways. Finally, ports may refer to a facility that provides refuge for cargo or ships.

Surat was India's first port, established in 1498. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in India and established trading centers in Goa, Daman, Diu, and Bombay. The British created their first port in Madras in 1640, followed by Bombay and Calcutta. However, the ports' development was slow. Lack of cash and technology prevented Indian ports from reaching their full potential. The growth of Indian ports accelerated with time.

Economic Contribution via Indian Ports

India has a 7,500-kilometer coastline, 12 major ports, and 217 non-major ports, making it the world's fifteenth-largest marine trading country. Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Visakhapatnam, Kamrajar, Chennai, and VO Chidambarnar are the six critical ports along the eastern coast. Similarly, India's western coast has six main ports: Cochin, New Mangalore, Marmugao, Mumbai, JNPA, and Deendayal.

Currently, the Indian port sector has a cargo handling capacity of 2627 million metric tons per annum (MTPA) [1617 MTPA major ports + 1010 MTPA other than major ports] and employs over 33,000 people. 

The entire value of foreign trade in FY 2021–22 was $422 billion in exports and $613 billion in imports. Similarly, India's foreign exchange in FY 2022–23 was $333 billion in exports and $552 billion in imports as of December 2022. All ports collectively account for around 95% of India's seaborne trade by volume and 70% by value. Under the Neighbourhood First Policy, India has signed international treaties with Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bhutan to boost maritime trade, reduce travel time, and improve access to India's North Eastern states. Now, let's explore all the biggest sea ports in India.

List of 13 Largest Ports in India:

Here are the list of the largest ports in India:

  • Kolkata Port
  • Paradip Port
  • Visakhapatnam Port
  • Kamarajar Port
  • Chennai Port
  • Tuticorin Port
  • Cochin Port
  • New Mangalore Port
  • Mormugao Port
  • Mumbai Port
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port
  • Kandla Port
  • Port Blair Port

Now, explore the table for 13 major ports in India statewise:

Sr. No.

13 largest ports in India

State

1.

Kolkata Port

West Bengal

2.

Paradip Port

Orissa

3.

Visakhapatnam Port

Andhra Pradesh

4.

Kamarajar Port

Tamil Nadu

5.

Chennai Port

Tamil Nadu

6.

Tuticorin Port

Tamil Nadu

7.

Cochin Port

Kerala

8.

New Mangalore Port

Karnataka

9.

Mormugao Port

Goa

10.

Mumbai Port

Maharashtra

11.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port

Maharashtra

12.

Kandla Port

Gujarat

13.

Port Blair Port

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Let’s briefly explore the major 13  ports in India! 

13 Largest Ports in India: Comprehensive Overview

India has a vast maritime network, with multiple critical ports that each play an essential role in the country's economy. Here's a list of the largest ports in India, grouped by their respective strengths:

  1. Port of Kolkata (KoPT):

  • Known as the "Gateway of Eastern India," the Kolkata Port handles freight from Australia and Southeast Asia. 

  • It uses two dock systems: Haldia docks and Kolkata docks. 

  • It is the busiest jute port and a significant steel, iron ore, copper, leather, tea, and coal exporter. 

According to India Import data, the imported goods include heavy machinery, paper, fertilizers, chemical products, and crude oil. A natural river port can handle ships up to 500 feet long. It typically takes roughly 0.6 million TEUs annually, placing it fourth.

  1. Paradip Port

  • Paradip is one of India's largest maritime ports and Odisha's only major port. 

  • Odisha's then-chief minister, Biju Patnaik, is credited for establishing Paradip port. 

  • It is situated 210 nautical miles south of Kolkata and 260 nautical miles north of Vishakhapatnam on the eastern shore of the Bay of Bengal.

  • Iron ore and coal are the primary commodities transported at this port.

  1. Visakhapatnam Port: (Deepest Port in India)

  • Visakhapatnam Port, popularly known as Vizag Port, is in Visakhapatnam City, Andhra Pradesh. It is situated between the Chennai and Kolkata ports and is one of the largest ports in India, making it an essential marine center. 

  • This port is among the busiest ports in India.

  •  It handles around 60 million metric tons of freight annually. 

  • Visakhapatnam Port is undergoing a massive project to expand cargo handling capacity to 100 million metric tons by 2025.

  1. Ennore Port

  • Kamarajar Port Limited, formerly Ennore Port, is situated on the Coromandel Coast in Chennai, about 18 km north of Chennai Port. The port was designated as a substantial port under the Indian Ports Act of 1908 in March 1999. 

  • Kamarajar Port is the only significant port that has been incorporated and registered as a company. 

  • It is also India's largest port, and the first to be run by a public company. 

  • Kamarajar Port Limited is the only major port that has been corporately organized and registered as a business.

  1. Chennai Port, Tamil Nadu:

  • One of India's oldest ports, Chennai, remains a significant cargo facility known as the "Gateway to South India." 

  • Chennai Port held its third spot on the list of the largest ports in India, carrying over 1.28 million TEUs in 2023. 

  • An exciting fact about this port is that it is the 3rd oldest port in India! 

  • The Port of Chennai, the largest port on the east coast of the Bay of Bengal, is also known as the Gateway of South India because of its significant impact on business and worldwide trade in the southern region.

  1. Tuticorin Port, Tamil Nadu

  • V.O.Chidambaranar Port (previously Tuticorin Port) is one of India's 12 main ports. 

  • It was declared a significant port on July 11, 1974. 

  • It is the second largest port in Tamil Nadu and the fourth largest cargo terminal in India.After the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, V.O. Chidambaram Port is an artificial port and  third international and second all-weather port.

  1. Kochi or Cochin Port

  • Cochin Port, commonly known as Kochi Port, 

  • It is a major port on the Arabian Water-Laccadive Sea-Indian Ocean waterway in Kochi, Ernakulam district, Kerala, 

  • It is one of India's largest ports and first transshipment port. 

  • The Cochin Port is supposed to have originated around AD 1341 as a result of severe floods in the Periyar River. 

  1. New Mangalore Port

  • The New Mangalore Port is West Coast's deepest inner harbour. 

  • It is Karnataka's only important port and India's sixth largest. 

  • It is run by the New Mangalore Port Authority (NMPA). 

  • This port serves the Karnataka and Kerala hinterlands in some capacity. 

  • In addition to iron ore, this port ships manganese, granite, coffee, and cashews. 

  • Imported goods include crude and petroleum products, LPG, wood pulp, timber logs and various liquid chemicals.

  1. Mormugao Port

  • Mormugao port is located in the estuaries of the Juari River in the state of Goa.

  • Mormugao Port is one of Goa's tourism spots.

  • This port is India's leading iron ore export port. This port handles items other than iron ore, including cotton, manganese, and coconut.

  1. Port of Mumbai (Largest Port in India)

  • The Mumbai Port is considered one of the largest ports in India. 

  • It is also known as Bombay Port Trust. 

  • It was established by the British in the 17th century and covered an area of about 400 square kilometers in India. 

  • It is a natural deep-water seaport located in the Arabian Sea. 

  • The Mumbai port can handle all types of cargo. As a result, it is commonly referred to as a multi-purpose fund. 

  • This port has 32 berths, including a refueling facility. 

Point to Remember: The port has train connections to the Central and Western Railways. Also, the Cochin port has a total cargo capacity of 32.03 million metric tonnes and 0.6 million TEUs. Every year, around 1500 vessels visit the Cochin Port.

  1. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (largest container port in india ):

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Navi Mumbai: 

  • JNPT is the largest container port in India , accounting for more than 55% of total container traffic. Nhava Sheva, also known as Jawaharlal Nehru Port, is India's largest port in Maharashtra. 

  • The Jawaharlal Nehru Port is one of Largest Ports in India and India's largest and most active and Busiest Port in India. 

  • Mumbai is a central import and export hub, with a large population and all the necessary facilities to support trade. 

  • JNPT maintains its position as India's largest container port, processing more than 7.14 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 2023.

  1. Kandla Port:

  • The Kandla Port, 90 km from the Gulf of Kutch, was developed in the 1950s as India's first export processing port in the Kandla Creek area. 

  • It is India's biggest container port in terms of value and cargo volume handled each year. 

  • The port exports salt and textiles in large quantities and has a cargo capacity of 122.5 million metric tonnes and a TEU traffic of 0.17 million. 

  • The port is also undergoing modifications to boost its handling capacity and neighboring surroundings.

  1. Port Blair

  • The Port Blair Trust runs a seaport in Andaman and Nicobar. 

  • One of India's biggest ports is located on the Andaman Sea. 

  • The Port Blair Port Trust operates the port. 

  • This makes Port Blair India's 13th major port and the sole significant port in Andaman and Nicobar. 

  • Port Blair is well-known for its stunning beaches, which have crystal-clear waters and a white sandy shoreline. 

  • Corbyn's Cove Beach, located just a few kilometres from the city centre, is popular with both locals and tourists. 

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  • Mundra Port, Gujarat:(Private Major Port in India)

Mundra Port maintains outstanding performance, handling over 4.49 million TEUs in 2023, cementing its position as the second largest port in India. The Mundra port has a significant edge over other ports because it is well connected to train routes throughout India. In addition, Mundra Airport is undertaking tremendous renovations to become an international air cargo hub.

The port handles 5 million TEUs and 338 million metric tonnes of cargo. 

The Mundra Port is also the world's largest coal import terminal. The port covers 400 square kilometers and is India's most significant in size and maritime trade. The Port of Mundra  handles around 20% of India's foreign exchange and is critical to the country's economic and business operations. Furthermore, the water depth can exceed 1012 meters, making anchoring and passing enormous cargo ships quickly possible.

Major Ports in India Map

India has 13 major ports, which play an important part in the country's maritime trade and economy. These ports are strategically positioned along the Indian coastline and handle a large amount of freight traffic. Here's a map which illustrates their locations:

Now, let's explore each port in detail:

In West Coast:

  • Deendayal Port Trust (Kandla): 

  • Mumbai Port: 

  • Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT): 

  • Marmugao Port (Goa): 

  • New Mangalore Port: 

  • Kochi Port: 

In East Coast:

  • Chennai Port: 

  • Ennore Port (Kamarajar Port): 

  • Visakhapatnam Port: 

  • Paradip Port: 

  • Kolkata Port (including Haldia): 

Major Ports in India – Some Key Interesting Facts:

Ports in India:

Name Of The Port

Biggest Port in India

Mumbai Port, Maharashtra

Newest Port in India

Vadhavan, Maharashtra

Deepest Port in India

Visakhapatnam port (natural depth > 16.5 meters)

Oldest Port in India

Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Trust, Kolkata

Private Major Port in India

Mundra (run by Adani Ports and SEZ Limited – APSEZ), Gujarat

Busiest Port in India

Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) / Nhava Sheva port, Maharashtra

Which Is the Largest Import Export Port in India?

Mumbai Port is India's biggest port in terms of size and maritime traffic. The Mumbai Port is located in a natural harbor on India's western coast in west Mumbai. The water depths range from 10 to 12 meters, making it feasible for massive cargo ships to dock and pass. 

The Mumbai Port handles around 20% of India's foreign trade and is essential to the Indian economy and trading operations. It has four jetties that run various imports and exports, such as crude and petroleum oil, liquid chemicals, textiles, tobacco, manganese, leather, and heavy machinery.

However, the other biggest sea ports in India were not included in the list but are among India's largest ports are Mormugao Port (Goa), Ennore Port (Chennai), New Mangalore Port (Karnataka), Paradip Port (Odisha), and Panambur Port (Mangalore). 

Conclusion:

Seaports in India have a significant environmental impact and contribute to developing the marine sector and the national economy. In India, seaports function as crossroads for export and import, transforming product delivery from maritime to roadway, railway, and river transport. The above list contains information about the biggest seaport in India and the country's largest port for export and import. If you want to learn more about the largest ports in India, please connect with ExportImportData.

We will gladly offer authentic India Trade Data, or HS codes, for specific products. We also provide India's major ports with export and import data. So, if you need any guidance related to Largest Ports in India, our qualified experts will help you grow your business in the international trade market. To buy our market research report and data, e-mail us at sales@exportimportdata.in. Thank you for reading! 

Frequently Ask Questions

Q: Which Is India's Major Port?

Mumbai Port in Maharashtra is India's largest, covering an area of 46.3 hectares.

Q. Which Is India's Busiest Port?

Mundra Port in Gujarat is India's busiest port. It can accommodate 5.7 million units of cargo and represents for approximately 24% of the Port's total capacity.

Q: Which Is the Deepest Port in India?

Kishnapatnam Port in Andhra Pradesh is India's deepest port, capable of handling up to 75 million tonnes of cargo annually.

Q: How Many Major Ports Does India Have?

India has 13 major seaports, 12 of which are government-owned and one private.

Q: Which States Have India's Major Ports?

India's major ports are located in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, West Bengal, Gujarat, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu.

Q: What Are the Man-Made Ports in India?

The Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Kandla ports are man-made.

Q: What Are the 13 Ports of India?

India has 13 main ports: Kolkata, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Jawaharlal Nehru (Nhava Sheva), Mumbai, Kandla, Ennore (Kamarajar), and Port Blair.

Q: Which Is India's Second Largest Port?

Chennai Port is the second largest port, mostly handling general goods, petroleum products, fertilisers, and iron ore.

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