India has long been a major contender in the Indian Ocean trade routes, both past and present. With the increasing demand for shipping services to India or from India to various global destinations, the ports of India have been in the limelight. When concerning ports of India, and maritime news from the subcontinent, its home to a 13 major port and 200 minor ports that contributes to the logistics industry in India.
The global shipping industry plays a vital role in India’s commerce and trade, and thus, the government has recently made plans to improve the infrastructure and developments of its ports, including a project “Sagar Mala” in an attempt to modernize the Ports of India. With close to 600 million of tonnes handled by major ports, the Indian government has also initiated the Natiports of Indiaonal Maritime Development Programme (NMDP) to further the maritime industry of India. With China, attempting to influence maritime trade routes within the profitable Indian Ocean, India has also been attempting to garner projects to secure their economic advancement.
China has most recently offered aid to the like of Sri Lanka to advance their infrastructural developments, the most prominent being the MRMR (Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa) Port of Hambantota. This port, which is situated at the southern-most point of Sri Lanka, is the last area of land of the Indian Ocean before reaching Antarctica. Thus, it has gained much popularity as a stop for refilling fuel, crew changes, and cargo handling. The fact that this port is connected to the improved road developments has made it a convenient stop for shipping companies before continuing on their trade routes. Other ports that China has developed with the flush of capital include those in neighbouring Pakistan and Bangladesh. With Sri Lanka being slated as having profitable geo-strategic positioned ports, with China holding much stake in them, the Sri Lankan government has propositioned the port of Trincomalee as a means of cooling the waters between the trio (that is, India, China and Sri Lanka). If India were to take on the Trincomalee Port project, India would be able to balance the scales on their favour to balance the power play on the Indian Ocean coverage of trading routes, especially with the modern day Silk Route by the Chinese making a play on area.
Thus with developments happening concerning the ports of India, and maritime news in the Asian shipping markets, it’s advisable to keep an eye on the horizon to ensure profitability in the future.