National Maritime Day India: Facts & Stats
April 5th, was India’s National Maritime Day but what happens on this day, why is it celebrated on this date, and what do you need to know about Maritime Day in India? Let’s get right to it!
India might not immediately spring to mind when thinking of seafaring nations, but thanks to its 4670 mile coastline, including the mainland, the Lakshadweep Islands, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, it has no shortage of coastal environments.
(And, by the way, that’s 7,516.6 in kilometers, if you want to know but can’t be bothered to work it out or Google it!)
Indeed, India is enough of a seafaring nation to have its own National Maritime Day. Let’s look at the history behind India's NMD.
What is Indian National Maritime Day?
National Maritime Day in India has been held each year on the 5th April since its inauguration in 1964. It was on this day in 1919 that the first commercial Indian vessel, the SS Loyalty, set sail from Bombay (modern day Mumbai) to London.
This was also a pretty big deal as the SS Loyalty was owned by the Scindia Steam Navigation Company Ltd - the first ever and biggest large scale shipping company to be owned entirely by Indians.
At the time, sea routes were also under control of the British Empire making this an especially momentous occasion for the Indian maritime sector.
As well as paying tribute to this historic occasion by the choice of date, Indian National Maritime Day also aims to promote the importance of international trade relations and their impact on the Indian economy.
As part of the celebrations a National Maritime Day Award of Excellence is normally presented to one or more senior individuals in the Indian shipping industry as a way to recognise and honor them for their service or exceptional achievements.
Facts about National Maritime Day and the Indian shipping industry
Now we’ve found out what National Indian Maritime Day is all about, let’s take a look at some facts, stats and figures about the shipping industry in India.
Please note that current facts and data are as accurate as possible at the time of writing this post!
- National Maritime Day was first celebrated in India on 5 April 1964.
- India became an associate member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1959.
- India has the world’s 16th largest maritime industry.
- There are 12 major ports and 205 notified minor and intermediate ports in the country.
- The Maritime India Vision 2030, which was announced in 2021, plans to invest almost Rs 3 lakh crore in various ports projects across the country.
- The Vision also hopes to generate employment for 20 lakh people.
- And it has also pinpointed more than 150 initiatives which aim to boost the Indian maritime industry.
(For those not in the know, a lakh is a unit in the Indian numeral system which is equal to 100,000 - one hundred thousand - whereas one lakh crore is equal to one trillion.)
More facts about the Indian maritime industry
- India has a 4670 mile (approximately 7517 kilometers) long coastline.
- Approximately 95% of India’s merchandise trade is done by sea and via ports.
- India’s top export destinations are the United States, China, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, and South Korea.
- The merchant fleet is responsible for handling approximately 70% of India’s trading in terms of value.
- The nation has more than 30% of the global market share in the ship breaking industry.
- As of Spring 2020, India’s merchant fleet consisted of 1,463 vessels.
- The amount of Indian coastal shipping traffic grew from 74.9 MMTA in 2014 to 133 MMTPA in 2022.
- Indian maritime trading has grown at twice the global growth rate of 3.3%.
How can you celebrate Indian National Maritime Day?
Whether you are a seafarer who is currently working on a cargo ship or tanker, a seafarer who is enjoying a period of shore leave before you join your next vessel, or someone who just has an interest in all things maritime, here are a few ways you can celebrate National Maritime Day in India.
- If you’re working on a ship, why not throw a small party or indulge in some other fun activities onboard with your fellow crew members?
- If you’re on land, you could visit a maritime museum, such as the one at Kochi.
- If you’re located near the coastline, why not take a trip to visit your nearest harbor or port and check out some of the different types of boats.
- Or if you’re stuck at home, work or school and you have your computer handy, carry on reading some more of our seafarer blog posts!
Looking for information about what life at sea is like? Want to understand more about different careers in the merchant navy? Want to read some fun nautical facts, weird and wonderful sailor superstitions or inspirational quotes for seamen? Our blog has you covered on all bases!
It’s free, it’s easy to use and it allows you to search jobs, track your applications, and stay in touch with employers and manning agents.
We work with seafarers from all over the globe and welcome everyone to create a free Martide account and seafarer profile.
Happy National Indian Maritime Day
All that’s left for us to do now is to wish all Indian seamen and women a happy and safe National Indian Maritime Day. We thank you all for all of your hard work, bravery and service.
Eve is Martide's content writer and publishes regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea.