India is a major maritime nation with more than 7500 km coastline dotted by more than 200 ports. Maritime trade in India is carried out through 12 major ports and 217 non-major ports. Non-major ports hold an important position in the maritime ecosystem of the country handling around 45% of the total cargo handled at Indian ports. Some of the important non-major ports include Mundra APSEZ, Krishnapatnam, Bedi Sikka, etc. The geographic spread of non-major ports across important EXIM notes and the growing volumes of cargo handled demand a comprehensive study of these ports.

In this context, this is a detailed study on the non-major ports and their role in the maritime ecosystem of the country. The study is being conducted on behalf of Niti Aayog, Government of India. The study aims to outline the non-major port landscape in the country highlighting their geographic distribution, cargo handling, cargo mix, hinterland connectivity and their contribution to the maritime sector. The study entails a comprehensive literature review and stakeholder interactions to outline the as-is scenario of non-major ports in India and their operations.

Further, the study is trying to evaluate the performance of the non-major ports by benchmarking it with some of the major ports in the country. This will help in understanding the gaps and highlight need for reform within the non-major ports so that they can amplify their operations and therefore contribute towards the growing economy.

Based on the findings from stakeholder interactions, data analysis and literature review, the study aims to provide recommendations and way-forward on how non-major ports can improve their share in the cargo handling, diversify their product portfolio, optimize their operations and have better hinterland connectivity. The study also envisages to highlight the role on non-major ports in complementing the major ports in the growth of cargo handling in the country.