Pulse Phase

Syama Prasad Mukharjee Port Surges: Sets New High in Cargo Handling

The Syama Prasad Mukharjee Port (SMP), formerly known as the Kolkata Port, has etched its name in history by achieving a record-breaking cargo handling feat in the financial year 2023-24. This achievement marks a significant milestone for the 154-year-old port, solidifying its position as a vital trade gateway for India.

Breaking Records: A Look at the Numbers

Total Cargo Handling:

In 2023-24, SMP handled a staggering 66.4 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of cargo. This surpasses the previous record of 65.66 MMT set in 2022-23, reflecting a growth of 1.11%.

Individual Dock Performance:

The success story is further amplified by the individual performance of the two dock systems under SMP:

Kolkata Dock System (KDS):

KDS handled 16.856 MMT of cargo in 2023-24, compared to 17.052 MMT in the previous year.

Haldia Dock Complex (HDC):

HDC emerged as a star performer, registering its highest cargo volume ever with 49.54 MMT handled in FY 2023-24. This surpasses the previous record of 48.608 MMT set in FY 2022-23, representing a growth of 1.91%.

Reasons Behind the Success

Several strategic initiatives implemented by the port authority are credited for this record-breaking achievement:

Enhanced Productivity:

Focused efforts on streamlining operations and optimising infrastructure usage resulted in a significant rise in cargo handling efficiency.

Safety Measures:

Prioritizing safety standards ensures a secure and reliable environment for cargo handling, attracting more businesses.

Business Development Initiatives:

Proactive business development strategies by the port facilitated the expansion of trade partnerships and attracted new clients.

Improved Capacity Utilisation:

Utilizing existing infrastructure to its maximum potential allowed for handling a larger cargo volume without major infrastructure upgrades.

A Port with a Rich History

The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port boasts a rich history dating back to 1870, making it the oldest operating port in India. Originally constructed by the British East India Company, the port has played a crucial role in facilitating trade and commerce for over a century and a half. Located on the banks of the Hooghly River, approximately 203 kilometers from the Bay of Bengal, the port offers a unique advantage – it’s a freshwater port, unaffected by variations in salinity.

The port comprises two distinct dock systems:

Kolkata Dock System (KDS):

Situated in the heart of Kolkata city, KDS caters primarily to smaller vessels and handles a diverse range of cargo, including general cargo, iron and steel, and agricultural products.

Haldia Dock Complex (HDC):

Located downstream on the Hooghly River at Haldia, HDC is a deep-water port capable of handling larger vessels and bulk cargo like coal, fertilizer, and petroleum products.

Impact on the Economy and Infrastructure

The record-breaking cargo handling at SMP has a positive cascading effect on various aspects of the Indian economy and infrastructure:

Economic Growth:

Increased trade activity through the port stimulates economic growth by facilitating the import and export of goods, leading to a rise in GDP and job creation.

Infrastructure Development:

The success of SMP paves the way for further infrastructure development around the port, including improved road and rail connectivity. This enhances logistical efficiency and attracts further investment in the region.

Job Creation:

The port’s operations create a diverse range of job opportunities, from dockworkers and logistics personnel to administrative staff and business professionals. This injects income into the local economy and fosters growth.

Looking Ahead: Future Aspirations

The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port Authority (SPMPA) has ambitious plans for the future. Here’s what we can expect:

  • Capacity Expansion:Projects are underway to expand the port’s capacity through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). This will allow SMP to handle a larger volume of cargo in the coming years.
  • Technological Advancements:The port authority is actively exploring the adoption of advanced technologies like automation and data analytics to further enhance operational efficiency and optimize resource utilization.
  • Green Port Initiatives:Sustainability remains a priority. SMP is committed to implementing eco-friendly practices and reducing its carbon footprint.


The record-breaking cargo handling achievement at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port signifies not just a historical milestone, but a testament to India.