India is looking to enter the container manufacturing sector in a big way as the country aims to boost its exports.
Container manufacturing is expected to be part of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat programme, which is a vision for India envisaged by prime minister Narendra Modi to make India a self-reliant nation. Under the program, five pillars were outlined – economy, infrastructure, system, vibrant demography and demand.
The country’s decision comes at a time when there is a major container shortage on major liner routes resulting in substantial freight rate hikes. The shortage of containers has also been causing delays in shipment of India’s major export goods including rice.
“We need to address the issue of containers at the earliest especially as we focus on boosting exports on one hand and reducing imports on the other,” Ajay Sahai, director general, Federation of Indian Export Organisation told India Narrative.
India’s Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has already set up a committee to study the feasibility of manufacturing containers at Bhavnagar in Gujarat.
Currently China is the largest container manufacturing country in the world with a market share of more than 95%.
Commenting on the news, Andy Lane from Singapore-based CTI Consultancy told Splash: “Currently there is some demand for additional production. Longer term the global container fleet will remain at around 1.6 times the liner ship capacity, and India will need to compete with China here. China has an additional advantage that the containers roll out of the factory straight for export stuffing.”