The Indian government is gearing up for a significant increase in trade once the proposed India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) becomes operational. Although the corridor is still in its conceptual stage, India is proactively preparing to meet the surge in cargo demand. Senior officials from the shipping ministry revealed that India is enhancing the capacity of its western ports to handle export-import cargo, which will be crucial when the IMEEC corridor becomes operational.
According to these officials, four ports on the western coast are potential links to the IMEEC corridor: Jawaharlal Nehru Port (Navi Mumbai), Deendayal Port (Kandla, Gujarat), Mundra Port (Gujarat), and the upcoming Vadhavan Port (near Dahanu, Maharashtra). Significant developments are underway at these ports. For instance, Kandla Port is expanding its capacity by adding new terminals. The greenfield Vadhavan Port, set to be India’s largest, is currently under development and will substantially contribute to handling export-import cargo. After the addition of new terminals, Kandla Port will have an annual capacity of 2.19 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units), while Vadhavan Port will boast a capacity of 24.9 million TEUs.
The government has allocated Rs 66,544 crore for the Vadhavan Port project, which received approval from the cabinet in February 2020. A Special Purpose Vehicle has been formed to oversee its development. Additionally, Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Mundra Port, with capacities to handle 10 million TEUs and 7.5 million TEUs respectively, further contribute to India’s readiness to handle the anticipated surge in trade once the IMEEC corridor is operational.