India’s maritime landscape has gone through immense transformation in recent years, which is attested by India’s improved ranking in international indices such as Logistics Performance Index 2023. Integrated efforts of government, private sector, industry stakeholders and maritime community and digital initiatives like Sagar Sampark, ease of doing business, better infrastructure facilities, public private partnerships (PPP), increased investment, incredible policy framework have all collaborated to provide the maritime sector a steering force to stand out and emerge as the global epicenter of the blue economy. The role of Private port authorities in India’s maritime industry cannot be kept aside, as it has been contributing as an essential partner in the development of new ports and augmenting the capacity of India’s shipping sector. Due to comprehensive efforts of private port authorities, some minor private ports have performed far more effectively than some major public ports. Thus, to analyze the efficiency between government and privately operated ports of India, let’s compare publicly owned largest port by size and shipping traffic of India i.e Mumbai port, with privately owned largest commercial port of India i.e., Mundra port.
Mumbai Port is the second oldest major port in India after Kolkata and has long been serving as the principal gateway into India. The deep waters of Mumbai port provide secure and ample shelter for shipping throughout the year. It caters 8.61 percent of the volume of seaborne trade carried out by the major ports in the nation. The main commodities of exports and imports carried out from Mumbai port includes machinery, crude and petroleum oil, liquid chemicals, motor vehicles, iron and steel, edible oil etc. The port has thirty-two berths with an effective annual capacity of 82.85 Million Metric Tons (MMT), and, is significantly contributing to the growth of the country’s economy, trade, and commerce. Mumbai Port Authority handled highest ever traffic of 63.61 MMT in the year 2022-2023 registering a growth of 6.21 percent over the last year throughput (59.89 MMT). This is the all-time high traffic handled by Mumbai Port surpassing the previous high of 63.05 million tonnes handled in 2016-2017.