India has a long coastline, about 90% of sea borne trade is handled via major ports of Kandla, Mumbai , Nhava Sheva, Marmagao, Cochin, Tuticorin, Chennai, Vishakapatnam, Paradwip, Haldia, Goa and Kolkata.
- With a coastline of more than 7,500 km, India forms one of the biggest peninsulas in the world.
- The country has 13 major sea ports and about 200 non-major sea ports and intermediate ports.
- All the sea ports are located in the following states – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Daman and Diu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Kerala, Karnataka, West Bengal, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Goa.
- The major ports are administered by the Shipping Ministry of the Central Government, while the minor ports are taken care of by the Ministry of the respective States where they are located.
- Mumbai Port: Located at the mainland of west Mumbai, it is the largest port in India. About one-fifth of the foreign trade of India predominantly in mineral oil and dry cargo is handled by Mumbai Port alone. Kandla Port: Located in the Gulf of Kutch, it is one of the prominent ports on the West Coast of the country. The port was developed to decongest Mumbai Port.
- Chennai Port: The second largest port in India, Chennai Port (or Madras Port) primarily handles fertilisers, general cargo, iron-ore and petroleum products.
- Jawaharlal Nehru Port (or Nhava Sheva Port): Situated in the Konkan region, it is a major port of the Arabian Sea and handles large volume of domestic cargo traffic and international container traffic. Haldia Port: A major seaport located near the Hooghly River in West Bengal, it is the most important centre of jute industries. It is also known as the ‘Gateway of Eastern India’.
- Ennore Port: Located at the north of Chennai, this port was established to reduce congestion on Chennai Port. It is also India’s first corporate port.
- Kochi Port (or Cochin Port): Kochi Port is located on the sea route of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Export of tea and coffee and import of chemical fertilisers and mineral oil are handled by the port.
- Paradip Port: The artificial deep-water port located in Odisha is an important port on the eastern shore. Coal, iron-ore and other dry cargoes are handled at the port. It has a cold handling plant, a railway system and a national highway that connects it to the road networks of the rest of the country.
- Tuticorin Port (V.O.Chidambaram Port) : Tuticorin Port is one of the major ports in Tamil Nadu and one of the largest container terminals in India. The port handles the trade of coal, food grains, salt, sugar, petroleum products and edible oils and carries out major trade with the neighbouring country of Sri Lanka.
- New Mangalore Port: Located at the southern tip of the Karnataka coast, it is also an important port in India. The port exports commodities such as granite stones, cashew, manganese and coffee and imports products like LPG, timber, cargo container and others.