NEW DELHI : The Shipping Ministry has ordered all 12 major ports across the country to give priority berthing to commercial vessels as part of its target to increase cargo movement by at least four times to about 2500 million tonnes by 2020.

“Major ports shall accord priority berthing, at least on one berth, to dry bulk/general cargo coastal vessels to enable shippers to transport goods from one port to another in India, irrespective of origin and final destination of the cargo,” the order said.

It said this was in addition to a dedicated berth for handling the coal that already exists in major ports. The port authorities are directed to accord priority berthing using “specific windows to coastal container vehicles.

The directive applies to the ports already handling 61 per cent of the cargo traffic. They include Mumbai, Kandla, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Visakhapatnam and Haldia.

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