The Port of Pipavav is located in the Indian state of Gujarat about 140 kilometers southwest of the city of Bhavnagar and about 22 kilometers from Rajula City. Protected by the islands of Savai Bet and Shial Bet, the deep-water harbor is tranquil and safe in all weather conditions, and it can accommodate vessels with a draft of 12.5. In 1937, the site of today’s Port of Pipavav housed a minor port, Port Albert Victor.
The Port of Pipavav is India’s first private sector port, home to one of the world’s biggest container terminal operators and the biggest shareholder in the port, APM Terminals. The modern port began operating in 1996 (mainly for the shipment of refrigerated for the Veraval market) and started handling containerized cargo in 1998.
With modern infrastructure serving container, bulk, and liquid cargoes, the Port of Pipavav is one of India’s more important west coast ports. The port offers bulk cargo handling facilities that serve a variety of cargoes that include fertilizers, coal, and steel. The Port of Pipavav’s container terminal handles weekly traffic with the East Coast of the United States, Europe, the Far East, and China.
The Port of Pipavav contains more than 340 meters of quays for bulk and break-bulk cargoes and 735 meters of quays for handling containers. There is also a 65-meter long berth dedicated to vessels carrying liquefied petroleum gas.
The Port of Pipavav also has ample storage space in warehouses and open stackyards and complete support service that include customs, shipping lines, and stevedore agents. Seven warehouses offer 600 square meters each, and two larger warehouses cover a total of almost seven thousand square meters. These warehouses are located near the dry cargo berths. An additional six warehouses, each covering about 6.7 thousand square meters, are located in the warehousing zone about five kilometers away from the berths.
The Port of Pipavav also has a dedicated container stackyard covering 108.1 thousand square meters that includes 140 reefer points. The port operates a container freight station of 11 thousand square meters for consolidating exports from the hinterlands. The station handles a variety of goods produced in the hinterlands including cotton, pulp, wood, cattle feeds, ceramic tile, sesame seeds, soda ash, and agricultural products.
The Port of Pipavav contains land within the port area that has been dedicated for building tank farms for storing liquid cargoes. The port has also developed a users’ complex to provide a full line of services for its customers.
The Port of Pipavav is planning to expand the container terminal to enlarge the outer channel to 14.5 meters deep with a turning basin of 13.5 meters. New cranes and container yards will be added to bring container space to 670 thousand TEUs by the end of 2009. By 2013, the Port of Pipavav hopes to add a new berth of 200 meters for bulk cargo and an additional 365-meter container berth.
Japanese investors helped build a new ship-breaking yard to replace the antiquated yards at Alang. The shipyard has dry-docks that can accommodate oil tanker salvage; however, those facilities are not yet in use.