It now imports 8,000 units from China
State-owned Container Corporation of India Ltd. (Concor) on Friday said it plans to source its annual requirement of about 8,000 containers, which till now were being imported from China, solely from domestic manufacturers.
Concor, that spends about ₹200 crore annually on procurement of containers, had already given a developmental order for 1,000 containers each to Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and Braithwaite & Co. — both public sector undertakings. For the remaining 6,000 containers, the company would soon issue tenders in which only domestic firms would be able to participate.
“As of now, all containers are imported because there is no manufacturing capability in India,” said V. Kalyana Rama, CMD.
“We want to push India as a manufacturing hub for containers. Our requirement is 8,000 containers every year for the next five years. This is enough to support the start of manufacturing in India,” he added.
He observed that Concor was the largest procurer of containers in India, and hence, the company could support kick-starting the manufacturing ecosystem.
Mr. Rama added that it was important that containers made in India were globally competitive as there was a huge demand for them in the global market.
However, currently, there was a cost difference of about 25-30% between containers made in India and abroad. “We need to see how we can reduce the cost of production to compete globally,” he said.
On the developmental order given, Mr. Rama said the two companies are developing prototypes currently, and testing results should be out by next month.
Earlier on Friday, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had called on the industry to ‘seriously explore’ the possibility of containers being manufactured in India ‘given the chronic shortage of containers for exports.’
Meanwhile, he also called for manufacturing indigenous containers with GPS- enabled technology for better logistics, which is the life-line of the Indian industry.
Concor, which currently has a fleet of 37,000 containers, organised a stakeholder consultation on the issues on Friday, during which major steel players like SAIL, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel confirmed the availability of the required better-grade steel.
Additionally, Indian manufacturing companies like BHEL, Braithwaite, Kalyani Cast Tech, Balmer Lawrie, Transafe, DCM Hyundai (Hindustan Vaccum) etc. added that the technology required to manufacture these containers was available with them.
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