Importance of water transport is evident from the following:-
1. Important for Foreign Trade:
Current volume of India's trade is quite large and it is likely to further expand for the sake of economic development of the country. So, its importance cannot be under-rated.
2. Foreign Exchange:
Shipping has also enabled the country to save enough of foreign exchange. Foreign exchange is of utmost importance for country's economic development. India has already been facing acute foreign exchange shortage.
Development of shipping is essential for the defense of the country also. It is regarded as second line of defense.
4. Cheap Means of Transport:
Water transport is the cheapest means of transport. Oceans and rivers are the free gifts of nature. No cost is involved in their construction unlike that of railways and roads.
5. Transport of Heavy Goods:
Heavy and bulky goods can be transported at little cost through water transport.
6. Useful during Natural Calamities:
During natural calamities like floods, heavy downpour etc. when rail or road transport is disrupted, water transport alone is possible.
7. Less maintenance Cost:
Compared to other means of transport, maintenance cost of water transport is very little.