India will now start manufacturing containers that have so far been imported from China. These will be manufactured at around the same cost of about Rs2.59 lakh per container that Chinese suppliers currently offer. Indian importers, who have been importing anything that comes cheap, will now get containers at competitive price from within the country.
Indian companies such as Braithwaite and BHEL would now manufacture these containers within the country, giving a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives.
Till now the Container Corporation (Concor), a subsidiary of Indian Railways, was importing about 10,000 containers in a year from China catering to the requirement of the rail sector in the country as there was no Indian player involved in manufacturing it.
India would gradually discontinue the practice of procurement of containers from the neighbouring country.
The decision also comes at a time when exporters in the country, including automakers, are bracing for a parts shortage and possible production losses over the next three to four months due to a global shortage of available shipping containers.
This in turn, has resulted in a surge in shipping freight rates since July and companies are now finding it difficult to sustain normal trade operations.
However, Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk says the shortage has resulted from a decline in Indian imports and a bounce back in exports.