The state of Gujarat is endowed with 1215 km length of coastline which constitutes about one sixth of the total Indian coastline. Out of 42 ports located along its coastline, 41 are non major ports while one port, viz. Kandla is a major port. Presently, 24 non-major ports in the State are handling cargo.  A snap view of the location of ports in Gujarat is given in Chart below. 

The trends in the cargo handled at both major and non-major ports of Gujarat State during 2007-08 to 2012-13 are given in Table below: 

Table:  Gujarat: Trends in Cargo Handled at Major & Non-Major Ports (Million Tonnes)
2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13(P)
Major Ports 64.92 72.22
150.52 152.81
All Ports 215.44 225.03
*Figures in bracket represent percentage change over the previous year/period. (P) Provisional.

It is noteworthy that all ports (major and non-major) located along the coast of Gujarat handled more than 40% of the total cargo handled by Indian ports in 2012-13. In particular, non-major ports of Gujarat alone handled close to three-fourth of total cargo traffic at India’s non-major ports.
Amongst the Maritime States of India, Gujarat is one of the States, which has played a proactive role in the development of non major ports on its coastline. It announced an integrated Port Policy in December 1995. The salient features of the Policy are given below:
Gujarat: Objectives of Integrated Port Policy
  • To increase Gujarat’s share in the export and import sectors in national and international trade and commerce in pursuance of the policy of liberalisation and globalization.
  • To reduce the burden on existing major ports on the western coast of India
  • To provide port facilities to promote export oriented and port based industries which are estimated to contribute 50% of the total industrial investment in Gujarat.
  • To take full advantage of the strategic location of Gujarat coast by (a) encouraging shipbuilding, ship repairing and related manufacturing activities and; (b) providing facilities for coastal shipping and ferrying passengers between Saurashtra and South Gujarat and other destinations.
  • To meet Gujarat’s potential power requirements by (a) establishing barge mounted power plants and (b) providing exclusive port facilities for importing different kinds of power fuel.
  • To attract private investment for the development of minor ports BOOT framework has been envisaged to provide – (i) timeliness of infrastructure creation, (ii) efficiency of operation and operational autonomy to the private sector, (iii) synchronization with hinterland development, (iv) Government’s role to be maintained only in appropriate areas, and (v) Government financial liabilities to be kept to a minimum.
Recent trends in cargo handled and capacity creation in non major ports of Gujarat indicates sustained increase in cargo throughput and capacity addition. During the year 2012-13, 43 million tonnes of capacity was added taking the total cargo handling capacity in the non major port sector in the Gujarat to 366 million tonnes.
As per the port policy, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has selected 11 Green Field sites for development of new ports as “All weather Deep Water Direct Berthing Ports”. Amongst 10 ports, 6 ports are to be developed through private investment and remaining 4 ports in the joint sector.