The new Port of Mangalore was formally inaugurated by Indira Gandhi in 1975, when India declared it the country’s ninth Major Port. Until 1980, India’s central government administered the Port of Mangalore. In 1980, the Port Trust Board was established, and the Port of Mangalore slipped to the 10th Major Port Trust in India. Since 1980, the Port of Mangalore has been a catalyst for Karnataka’s economic development.
In 2003-2004, the Port of Mangalore handled more than 26.6 million tons of cargo. Major exports shipped through the Port of Mangalore include iron ore concentrates and pellets, petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) products, granite, and containerized cargoes. The major imports include crude and POL products, timber, wood pulp, liquid ammonia, phosphoric acid, fertilizers, other liquid chemicals, and containerized cargoes.
The modern Port of Mangalore contains over 3.5 thousand meters of berthing space. Berths 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 are dedicated to handling general cargo, a total of more than 900 meters long with alongside depths from 7 to 10.5 meters, can accommodate vessels from four to 30 thousand DWT. Berth 4, 198 meters long with alongside depth of 9.5 meters, handles general cargo and liquid ammonia and can accommodate vessels to 30 thousand DWT. At 198 meters long with alongside depth of 9.5 meters, Berth 5 handles general cargo and bulk cement. The deep-draft multi-purpose berth is 350 meters long with alongside depth of 14 meters and can accommodate vessels to 90 thousand DWT carrying general cargo.
Berths 9, 10, 11, 12, and the Virtual Jetty are dedicated to crude oil and POL products, and they are a total of 1555 meters long with alongside depths ranging from 10.5 to 14 meters. Berth 9 can accommodate vessels to 45 thousand DWT. Berth 12 can accommodate vessels to 50 thousand DWT, and Berths 10 (the Crude Oil Jetty) and 11 can accommodate vessels to 85 thousand DWT. Handling POL products, the Virtual Jetty can accommodate vessels to 35 thousand DWT. Berth 8, the Iron Ore Berth, is 300 meters long with alongside depth of 12.5 meters and can accommodate vessels to 60 thousand DWT.
Today, the Port of Mangalore has total capacity to handle 38 million tons of cargo. Two transit sheds of 9.9 thousand square meters can store up to 18 thousand metric tons, and three overflow sheds of 13.7 thousand square meters can store 24.8 thousand metric tons. Open stackyards are also available. The stackyard with bitumen pavement offers 29.7 thousand square meters, while open stackyards without bitumen pavement offer 19.7 thousand square meters of space. The paved container stackyard covers 40 thousand square meters. Large open areas are also available near the berths and the railway for marshalling cargo.
Private operators offer additional storage space. IOC offers 1,13,000 kiloliters for petroleum products. IMC has 52 thousand kiloliters for chemicals and POL products. Three operators offer space for edible oils: Universal Agro Exports offers 12.8 kiloliters for edible oils, Mangalore Liquid Impex offers 7.5 thousand tons, and IPWC with 52.8 thousand kiloliters for molasses and edible oils. MCF has space for 10 thousand tons of liquid ammonia and 16 thousand tons of phosphoric acid. Finally, Ultra-Tech has three silos with capacity for 15 thousand tons of bulk cement.
In the 2006-2007 shipping year, the Port of Mangalore handled a total of 36 million tons of cargo. The Port of Mangalore imported container cargoes totaling 107.1 thousand tons. The biggest import groups were raw cashews (48.9 thousand tons), wooden logs (22.3 thousand tons), and salt (4.7 thousand tons). The Port of Mangalore handled 18.9 thousand TEUs of containerized imports. The Port of Mangalore exported commodities totaling 158.5 thousand tons and over 8.4 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo in the same period. The biggest export categories were coffee (57.1 thousand tons), reefer cargo (26.7 thousand tons), pig iron (12.0 thousand tons), and cashew kernels (10.5 thousand tons). The port exported 17.3 thousand TEUs of containerized cargo.
The Port of Mangalore handled imports of other cargoes totaling 17.9 million tons in the 2006-2007 shipping year. The largest single cargo was POL Crude, with 12.3 million tons imported. Other large import categories were coal (one million tons) and liquefied petroleum gas (1.2 million tons). Other bulk cargo imports included fertilizer, other liquid cargoes, and general cargoes. The Port of Mangalore exported a total of 14.1 million tons of cargo in the same period, including 7.8 million tons of POL products, 5.3 million tons of iron ore fines/lumps, and 646 thousand tons of iron ore pellets.