Tuticorin port is located in the south-eastern part of Tuticorin district. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Port, initially with wooden piers and iron screw pier and connections to the railways. Thoothukudi was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868. Since then there have been various development over the years.
It enjoys a unique advantage by its strategic location close to the East -West international sea route, barely 125 nautical miles from it. It is the first Indian port to receive ISO 9002 Certification. Tuticorin Port offers round the clock service. The Port records a throughput of 1,03,000 TEUS per annum with an average growth rate of about 10 % per annum. It is one of the most important ports of India which provide commerce and economical growth to the country.
It handles around 43 lakh tonnes of cargo annually. Total berth age of 3.5 km, six alongside berths to handle mainly break bulk, dry bulk cargoes and containers. Covered and open storage available, total area of 60,000 sq.m.
History of Tuticorin Port:
Tuticorin has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than a century. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Port, initially with wooden piers and iron screw pile pier and connections to the railways. Tuticorin was declared as a minor anchorage port in 1868. Since then there have been various developments over the years.
Tuticorin became the citadel of the freedom struggle in the early 20th century. In 1906, one of the greatest freedom fighters of India, Mr. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai, launched the first swadeshi ship "S.S. Gaelia" in British India.DD
After Independence, the minor Port of Tuticorin witnessed a flourishing trade and handled a variety of cargo meant for the neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives etc. and the coastal regions of India.
To cope with the increasing trade through Tuticorin, the Government of India sanctioned the construction of an all-weather Port at Tuticorin. On July 11,1974, the newly constructed Tuticorin Port was declared as the 10th major port 1st April 1979, the erstwhile Tuticorin minor Port and the newly constructed Tuticorin major Port were merged and the Tuticorin Port Trust was constituted under the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963.
Tuticorin Port is an artificial deep-sea harbour formed with rubble mound type parallel breakwaters projecting into the sea for about 4 km. (Length of North breakwater is 4098.66 m, length of South breakwater is 3873.37 m and the distance between the breakwaters is 1275m). The Port was designed and executed entirely through indigenous efforts. The harbour basin extends to about 400 hectares of protected water area and is served by an approach channel of 2400 metres length and 183 metres width.
1. Tuticorin is the only Port in Southern India to offer a direct weekly container service to U.S.A. Window berthing is provided on every Friday and the transit time to US is 22 days. Further, regular weekly direct services to Europe on every Tuesday (transit time 17 days), China on every Wednesday (transit time 10 days), Red Sea Ports on every Thursday (transit time 8 days) are also available. Besides, 26 services per month to Colombo are also available.
2. For the import container from Bangalore, Salem & Dharmapuri region, concessional storage charges at Port area are offered on experimental basis.
3. Port has good road / rail connectivity. Presently two ICD rakes viz. One ICD train leaving Bangalore on every Sunday and another ICD train leaving on Wednesday are available for connection vessel to Europe and USA separately.
4. Based on volume, Port could facilitate sharing of infrastructure facilities available at Oil Jetty to handle POL products.
5. Port has vast open space within and outside security wall for storage of cargo. Requisition for allotment of land on short term basis for 11 months could be considered within one month time.
It is now 35 years since Tuticorin Port was declared as a Major Port. In these 32 years it has crossed many milestones. The important milestones in the development of Tuticorin are given below:
Declaration of Tuticorin Port as a major Port - 11.07.1974
Commissioning of the Oil mooring berth - 13.07.1974
Commissioning of the first two alongside berths(VOC I & II) - 02.12.1975
Commissioning of the next two alongside berths(VOC III & IV) - 31.12.1976
Constitution of the Port Trust Board - 01.04.1979
Commissioning of Oil Jetty - 26.04.1980
Commissioning Coal jetty I - 01.03.1983
Commissioning of fifth alongside berth (AB 1) - 05.09.1983
Commissioning of sixth alongside berth (AB 2) - 01.01.1984
Commissioning of Coal jetty II - 27.02.1995
Certification of ISO 9002 - 12.03.1996
Introduction of Night navigation - 12.10.1996
Commissioning of alongside berth 7 - 05.09.1998
Licensing out berth no 7 to M/S PSA-SICAL - 15.07.1998
Commissioning of shallow draught berth - 10.05.1999
Completion of Dredging in Harbour Basin (11.90m) and Approach Channel (12.50m)- 05.11.1999
Functioning of a world standard Container Terminal - 21.12.1999
Introduction of main line service to U.S. - 17.10.2001
Commissioning of Berth No.8 - 02.02.2002
Switchover to ISO 9001:2000 standards - 23.04.2003
Entering 30th year of existence as a Major Port - 11.07.2003
Introduction of direct main line service to Europe - 16.07.2003
Completion of Dredging Dock Basin in front of berth No.8 - 24-09-2003
Inclusion of our port in Western Circuit of Cruise Tourism - 26.12.2003
Silver Jubilee Celebration - 10.07.2004
Registration of Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd. - 06.12.2004
Sethusamudram Website launched - 30.06.2005
Inauguration of Sethusamudram Project - 02.07.2005
ISO 14001 : 2004 Certificate of Approval - 16.09.2005