Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP or the Kolkata Port) plans to gradually adopt the landlord model. With the development, its complete framework of cargo operations will be managed in the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. The Port Authority has already transferred 15 per cent of its cargo operations to private players, which reaped better profits. In the future, the SMP authority will manage only maritime operations. By 2030, this figure will escalate to 80 per cent of cargo operations handled via the PPP mode. The authority aims for a 100 per cent private partnership, except for maritime operations.
Maritime operations make up one-third of the revenue, whereas cargo and lease port charges make up the rest of the profit figures. In the PPP mode, the port receives one-third of the revenue from operators. As per the model, the operators can handle the cargo operations for 30 years before the Port authority retrieves the rights and selects new operators.
SMP saw the highest cargo movement and profit level in its history in the last financial year. The authority logged a profit of ₹304.7 crores in the fiscal year 2022-23, a significant jump from ₹120 crores in 2021-22. Their balance sheet used to be in the negative before 2018. The net surplus has risen three times since then. Of the 65.6 million tonnes (MT) of cargo, 48 MT was handled by the Haldia dock system and 17 MT by Kolkata. The port witnessed the highest-ever jump of 7.5 MT in cargo handled. The authorities attribute the rise in cargo movement through the port to the transhipment facility at Sandhead.