In yet another step towards Aatmanirbhar Bharat, India for the first time is manufacturing cargo containers via two home-bred heavy-engineering companies.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the move is specifically aimed at freeing the country’s dependency on China and other foreign players in the logistics sector.
The report says Braithwaite and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited have received developmental orders from Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), which owns 85 per cent of the container movements market, to try and make 1,000 containers each.
Prior to this, all cargo containers in India were manufactured by foreign players, mainly Chinese. China is the global leader in cargo containers and routinely wins global tenders to manufacture and supply containers across the world, including in India.
According to a separate report, Dubai-based Transworld Group, promoted by Indian businessman Ramesh Ramakrishnan, has signed an agreement with state-owned Sagarmala Development Company Ltd to build a cargo container manufacturing facility in Gujarat with an investment of about Rs 200 crore.
India’s external trade grew to USD 838.46 billion in the last financial year, and the increasing trade is translating into higher demand for containerization due to their efficiencies.
A Hindu Business Line report says that India will require approximately 60,000 new containers between 2021 and 2026.
The government’s move to produce shipping containers in India is part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative and creates an import substitute for the new shipping containers.