Importance of maritime transport to India

12.Importance of maritime transport to India The 10 Most Influential CEOs Making a Difference 2022

Maritime transportation is an important mode of transportation for the country’s economic development. It has an impact on the growth rate of the country. It is the most cost-effective way to transport large amounts of goods. It creates jobs in ship-building, ship breaking, ship repair, marine training, and other associated industries. It has a substantial impact on trade growth and employment creation.


  • The article gives an overall idea about maritime transport in India. It also focuses on the development of maritime transport, future scenario and its importance in India. 
  • The maritime logistics business has a bright future due to technological progress and the government’s numerous projects already in place.

Development after liberalization in India

After liberalization, the scenario for maritime transportation changed. It became competitive, whether it was for cargo or resource mobilization. International ships docking at Indian ports did not require a license due to policy developments such as the moderation of the cabotage law and the cargo reservation policy. The government changed the Merchant Shipping Act and simplified the funding process, allowing the marine industry to acquire ships at lower costs to make the domestic industry more competitive. Both commercial and public maritime businesses were given authorization by the government to repair their ships in any shipyard without seeking consent.

Current scenario

Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister, renamed the Ministry of Shipping to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways in November 2020. India has 12 large ports and 205 minor and intermediate ports. Six new mega ports will be built in Sagarmala as part of the National Perspective Plan for the country. The ports and shipping industry in India is critical to the country’s trade and commerce growth. It has opened up the automated route to 100 percent FDI for port and harbor building and maintenance projects. It has also made it easier for businesses that create, maintain, and operate ports, inland waterways, and inland ports to take advantage of a 10-year tax break.

Importance of maritime transport to India

India is the world’s sixteenth-largest marine country. With a coastline of 7,517 kilometers, India is advantageously placed on the world’s shipping routes. According to the Ministry of Shipping, maritime transport handles over 70% of India’s trade. It accounts for around 95 percent of India’s commercial volume and 70 percent of its trading value. 

Initiatives by the Indian Government

The initiatives to better the functioning of the supply chain by the Indian government are as follows:

Sagarmala Programme: It aims to reduce the logistics cost for EXIM (Export-Import) and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.

  • Ghogha-Hazira ROPAX Ferry: It aims for eco-friendly transport, reduces the travel time and distance.
  • Port development: Its goal is to boost coastal shipping.
  • Merchant Shipping Bill : It aims to support the shipping industry in India. 
  • GST reduction: It also aims to boost maritime industries in India.
  • Inland water transport: It aims to improve the existing waterways to promote Inland Water Transport (IWT).

Future of Maritime transportation

  • By, 2030 government aims to make 23 waterways as it is environmentally friendly and gives cost benefits. 
  • ‘Make in India’ initiatives will create opportunities in the ship repair industry. The ship-building policy will support the shipyards to acquire more foreign orders. 
  • The rise of India’s maritime logistics business will fuel by factors such as secure shipping, more seaborne trade, and the use of cleaner fuels.


Maritime trade in India will boost the living standard once the policies framed are implemented accordingly & responsibly. Not just the government, it is the citizens of India that must contribute to this Trillion Dollar industry. Water highways & internal river connections for trading are on the priority list. 

Not just for trade, security of the borders is one of the major challenges in this scenario which can make the situation better or worse. Keeping an eye on such changing environment in this industry could make sizeable changes to our daily lives.

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