With shortage of cargo containers hitting export and other areas of logistics in the country, Union minister Piyush Goyal Friday said India should aim to manufacture a million containers and not depend on other countries for it.
The containers are primarily imported from China.
Not naming China, Goyal said in terms of containers, India had put “all its eggs in one basket” all this while.
“Sadly in container manufacturing we have no basket of our own. Not only are all our eggs in one basket but that basket is also not ours; it is outside the country,” Goyal said at a meeting of relevant industry representatives and Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), the biggest player in container movement, which has decided to support indigenous manufacturing of containers for the first time in India.
“Today the problem we are facing of containers is affecting exports… rice, wheat, sugar, all are suffering because we don’t have enough containers,” Goyal said. He said the volumes for export of sugar, rice and wheat alone might require half a million containers, making the point that there is sense in aiming for largescale production.
“Scale presents huge cost-benefit opportunities. If you produce a high-quality product, our neighbours will never be able to match it,” he said, adding, “How can we be dependent on other countries for such a simple thing like making containers?” he said.
As reported in The Indian Express on Friday, state-owned wagon manufacturer Braithwaite, and engineering behemoth Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited have received an order from CONCOR to develop and produce 1000 containers each, a first such move in India. Containers are typically imported from China the global leader in this thanks to its scale and price. Goyal also directed that containers coming to India be tagged with GPS tech so that they can be located.
Goyal said that Indian entities like even the Railway production units and others should all pool in their resources to scale up the manufacturing of containers to make India the “container capital of the world”.
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