Pages 18-30: A Critical Review of the Indian Ports and Shipping Sector

Jagmeet Makkar


The United Kingdom's registered trading fleet was the 18th largest in the world (by deadweight) in 2018, just below the Indian registered fleet. However, London was second on the International Shipping Centre Development Index for a few years before it fell to third place in 2018 and 2019, just after Hong Kong. It may seem that for a country or a port to be a significant International Maritime Centre, it is not necessary to have a large volume of tonnage under its registry. This may be true, provided there is a strong period of maritime history, such as starting from Lloyd’s Coffee House of 1686! The seed is still the tonnage for the development of maritime cluster. While the hardware (tonnage and port infrastructure) is said to make up just 20%, maritime services and the general environment contribute 80% towards the development, sustainability and growth of a successful international maritime centre. The ownership or control of the hardware is generally fragmented and presents its own challenges. The major contributor (80%), fortunately, offers an opportunity for action-oriented collaboration and focus on economic transformation, which in turn leads to sustainable development, knowledge and imagination hotspots and employment opportunities across the industry. This paper focuses on growth of controlled tonnage and other areas that need to be addressed in order to achieve a sustainable and significant position on the world’s stage for India.


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