Ahmedabad, March, 27, 2019: It was business as usual for nearly two dozen merchant vessels bound to 9 different ports along India’s east and west coast on Thursday, March 21.
But little did the thousands of people working on the busy day know that they were part of scripting history. It was the day when Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. (APSEZ), India’s largest private port operator which runs these ports recorded cargo movement of more than 200 million metric tonnes (MMT). It became the first Indian port operator to achieve the milestone. This has not been an easy journey. The company overcame many challenges through the strength of character and conviction of its people.
Adani Ports embarked its journey in 2001 when it was unheard of for private players to enter into port sector. The demands were huge both technical and financial. Driven by its strong conviction APSEZ took the leap and ventured into the unknown. Within a span of two decades, APSEZ has become one of the largest port operators in the world.
“Our projections were to reach this milestone by 2020 but we could achieve it ahead of schedule courtesy the tech-driven operational efficiency and enhanced asset utilisation. Robust capacity
addition at our leading ports such as Dhamra and Mundra as well as deepening presence closer the hinterland with new facilities such as Ennore and Kattupalli played a critical role in this journey,” said Mr. Karan Adani, Chief Executive Officer, APSEZ. He added that focus on adding value as an integrated logistics player and coastal shipping of coal further bolstered the process.
It started with Mundra Port but later on there were additions to the portfolio. Non-major ports were developed at Hazira, Dhamra, Dahej and the newest baby at Kattupalli. Terminals were developed within major ports of the country at Ennore, Kandla, Goa and Vizag from 2005 to 2018. Mundra Port remains the crown jewel, but the feat of handling 200 MMT cargo has not been achieved by one port alone. Proximity and rail/road connectivity to the vast and rich north- western hinterland, state-of-the-art modern port infrastructure and equipment, zero waiting time for ships, faster turn-around time and competitive rates contributed to this phenomenal growth of Adani Ports.
This hasn’t been a mad dash for cargo numbers either; the growth has been healthy with focus on efficiency, sustainability, technology and other tools to bring in higher efficiency. The sustainability initiatives in an around the port have resulted in lifting up of communities and bringing about development of a balanced ecosystem surrounding the port. APSEZL through its commitment to safety and sustainability has made initiatives like development of eRTGs which were unheard of till now in India.
“This achievement also reinstates the massive contribution of the ports sectors to India’s economic transformation. With 90% of the country’s trade (by volume) dependent on the sea, this milestone is another indicator of our efforts towards nation-building,” said Mr. Karan Adani adding that collectively the company has generated over 100,000 jobs, educated over 25,000 students and touched over 200,000 lives.
Going forward APSEZ has set its sights on higher targets with aims to double growth up to 400 MMT by 2025. The target does not seem difficult considering the tech-driven innovations to integrate the conventional business processes with the new age digital technologies. Fleet and fuel management, asset monitoring, digitalisation of processes, mobility, operational intelligence and performance monitoring of the applications – the journey that began around a year ago has begun reaping benefits.
“The focus for the immediate future is to reduce the turnaround time, drive up volumes without adding resources and increase in-transit visibility utilisation by eliminating unproductive trips among other benefits. The sweetest part of the deal is for our customers who get real-time status of operations from the comfort of their locations,” added Mr. Karan Adani.