Mumbai Port vs. Mundra Port: A Comparative Analysis of India's Maritime Giants

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

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.

The total cargo traffic handled by Mumbai port during 2019 to 2023 (last four years) is as follows:  
The growth of Mumbai port in handling traffic over the last four years are: 
Presently, the average turnaround time at Mumbai port is 62.44 hours. However, it has reduced to this level over the years but is still much higher than 
the other major ports of India.  
Mundra Port
Mundra port, Gujarat, owned by Adani group, is an infrastructural marvel 
and a natural gateway that caters to the northern hinterland of India with 
multi-modal connectivity. Mundra port efficiently handles diversified 
cargo such as fertilizers, agri-products, minerals, petrochemicals and 
steel cargo. Mundra port is the world’s largest coal import terminal, 
which gives faster cargo evacuation and minimal turnaround time. It is 
deep water, all weather port with twenty-seven berths with an annual 
capacity of handling 264 MMT of cargo. During 2022-2023, Mundra port 
handled the cargo traffic of 155 MMT, which is approximately equal to 19 
percent of cargo traffic handled by all major ports of India in the same 
year. The cargo handled by Mundra port in last four years 
(2019- 2023) is as follows: 
The growth in cargo handling by Mundra port has evidently shown a positive growth over the last four years.
Currently, the average turnaround time (TAT) at Adani ports is 0.7 days (approx 16.8 hours), which is much lower than the average TAT at major ports. 
Hence, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd has been guiding major ports in India to improve their TAT.
The privatization of ports approach was implemented to redefine performance through capacity expansion, enhanced competition, and improved 
productivity and efficiency, and the above data providentially states that the it has lived upto its expectations. Public-private partnerships too, have 
emerged as a means of improving port operations management and the construction of new port infrastructure, both previously reserved for the 
government. In the perspective of making Indian ports more competitive and so increasing India’s position in the global supply chain, it can be claimed 
that private players in the port sector are of enormous significance. 
By Simran