Atmanirbhar Bharat: Singapore-based NVOCC takes delivery of the first batch of Made in India containers

The Singapore based Non-Vessel Owning Container Carrier (NVOCC), Econship took delivery of the first batch of shipping containers made in India. The news comes as a rejoice and creaets equal anticipation as it places Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ initiative under the spot-light. The containers now stand upder the spotlight for a test on their quality. The containers have been manufactured by Ahmedabad based manufacturing company SYMCON.

It is well known that China has had a monopoly over container manufacturing for many decades, but the acute shortage in shipping containers after the pandemic related surge in demand, coupled with the push towards ‘Make in India’ has domestic manufacturing to stand against China. There have been many policy and regulatory changes that have removed the bureaucratic and taxation hurdles and promoted the manufacturing of containers in India. The government’s commitment to the cause has instilled the necessary confidence in businesses to invest in this sector, and enouraged the manufacturers to take calculated risks, despite the lingering uncertainties.

CONCOR, India’s largest container operator had said back in December 2022 that they’d need an additional 50,000 containers in the next three years, and there was a huge opportunity that India’s container manufacturers could leverage.

“Container manufacturing in India is really a solution to meet the business requirements and will eliminate dependency on China. There is a very high demand in the market specially when break bulk cargo has been converted from a traditional mode of transport to containerised mode. There is good volume of business available and manufacturers/suppliers of commodities like cement, food grains, fly ash etc. are eying for a solution which can provide door to door service without intermediary, to prevent wastage during handling of the same,” MK Nabi, Former Group General Manager, Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) said last year.

It has been realised by government that a strong supply chain ecosystem is crucial for India’s economic growth and since, it has been working towards the improvement of all aspects that together build one. Containers being manufactured in India will play a vital role in achieving the USD 5 Trillion economy. Not only can India can streamline its supply chains, but domestic manufacturing can also help in reducing logistics costs, and make exports more competitive in the global market, ultimately contributing to economic growth.

Moreover, it will also be a tool to attract higher FDI in the country as investors and businesses are likely to be drawn to a country with a reliable and self-sufficient supply chain infrastructure, enhancing India’s position as a global leader in trade and logistics.

An increase in trade agreements across nations, expansion of the e-commerce industry, digitization in container shipping, and rising demand for specialized containers has valued the Indian container market size at USD 10.3 billion by 2028, with an expected growth rate of (CAGR) of 1.7% during the forecast period.

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