The question that comes to everyone’s mind is how Mundra became India’s largest port. Its answer is not too simple. We explain to you everything about what made Mundra India’s largest port. Mundra port was not popular when the Gujarat government granted Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd. permission to develop and operate the Mundra port as an all-weather harbor. Therefore, it has always been the case that major ports were the ones in charge of handling cargo. While minor ports were those at the discretion of the government. As a result, Mundra port had four multipurpose berths built after lenders refused to finance a private port. Minor ports had to deal with the strong competition with major peers such as Kandla, located in Gujarat itself.
There are 12 other federal ports across the country. It includes Port Blair, a newly developed site in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. So, the private ports were not linked to the Indian railways, and there was no policy on the matter. There were a lot of challenges to funding private port developers, and few risk-takers were willing to take the plunge.
Consequently, the Adani Group identified Mundra port as a key strategic asset and shaped a master logistics plan around it. Just to clarify, it is based on its proximity to the hinterland and superior access. The Mundra port led to the addition of other activities to the group, such as edible oil refineries, power plants, and mining. The company realizes that infrastructure is crucial to success. A joint venture between Adani and more than 500 Indian landowners.
They built rail and road links to Mundra port by battling numerous lawsuits. In 2003, the port added 70 KMs of rail lines to the Indian rail network. It includes linking rail container depots, container freight stations, and inland container depots. The port also signed long-term contracts with its customers. Investments in the port totaled Rs.12000 crore and there was a focus on automating cargo handling. Due to mechanization, the turnaround time at Kandla is two to three days, but less than a day at Mundra. This ensures economies of scale in the face of slowing economic growth.
As of today, Mundra port has a handling capacity of 180 million tonnes a year. In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, Adani Ports took over the Union government-controlled Kandla port by just a whisker. This is the first time a private port has gained pole position. Between April and June, Adani handled close to 24 metric tons more than Kandla.