Container Corporation of India Ltd. (CONCOR) organized a Webinar on “Indigenous Manufacturing of Containers” on 05-03-2021 against the backdrop of container shortage in the country. The objective of the Webinar was to boost local manufacturing of containers in line with the PM's Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign. The Webinar highlighted the fact that the country has all the wherewithals to manufacture the best quality containers in the world.
SAIL, Tata Steel & Jindal Steel confirmed the availability of required better grade steels. BHEL, Braithwaite, Kalyani cast tech, Balmer Lawrie, Transafe, DCM Hyundai (Hindustan Vaccum), etc intimated that the technology required to manufacture these containers was available with them. International container inspection agencies like Lloyd Register & Indian Register of Shipping highlighted their Indian presence and intimated that they were already working with some Indian Manufacturers to ensure the outturn of word-class containers.
In a move to restrict Chinese supremacy in the Indian container market, Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) will float an open tender for domestic manufacturers soon to meet its annual requirement of containers. Till now, the state-run company was procuring around 8,000 containers from China on an annual basis, at a total cost of around Rs 200 crore. Ahead of the open tender, Concor is set to give a developmental order for 1,000 containers each to Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) and Braithwaite & Co. BHEL comes under the ministry of heavy industries and Braithwaite is a heavy fabrication unit under the Indian Railways. “Our annual requirement will be around 8,000 containers for the next five years. We are going to float an open tender, inviting domestic manufacturers for this,” V Kalyana Rama, CMD, Concor had said earlier.
India is equipped with the technical know-how required to manufacture these containers and the various specified materials required for container manufacture which enhance weather resistant qualities and strength are also available in the country. This first initiative towards cutting down dependance on import of containers, will save precious foreign exchange, besides boosting the production efficiency of Indian industries and generating employment for the youth.
In his keynote speech during the Webinar, Minister of Railways, Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution Piyush Goyal expressed his happiness at the gathering of all stakeholders related to container manufacture, operation & maintenance. He exhorted the industry to work together with Govt. of India, CONCOR, and other supply chain participants to make India the container manufacturing capital of the world.
He urged the industry not to limit their plan to meet CONCOR’s demand but to step up the production to meet the global container demand. To ensure proper tracking of all containers coming into the country, Railway Minister suggested that a scheme for fitting GPS-enabled devices could be thought of for better tracking of containers.
He believed that synergies could be developed between various Ministries such as the Food & Public Distribution, Commerce & Industry, and Railways to ensure the development of a substantial container manufacturing base in the country.
The Webinar was also addressed by P.S. Mishra, Member, Railway Board (Operations & Business Development and Traction & Rolling Stock) and Naresh Salecha, Member/Finance, Railway Board, and V Kalyana Rama, Chairman & Managing Director, CONCOR.
Thought-provoking presentations were delivered by various container manufacturers such as Braithwaite Co Ltd, BHEL, DCM Hyundai (Hindustan Vacuum Glass), Transafe, Balmer Lawrie, and Kalyani Cast Tech.
Wagon manufacturers, Railway Production Units & Workshops, and major suppliers of the container manufacture supply chain also participated in the Webinar.
The production of containers in India has attracted interest from multi-modal logistics companies and other stakeholders related to container manufacture, maintenance and operation of containers. While major steel players like SAIL, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel have confirmed availability of required better grade steels, Kalyani Cast Tech, Balmer Lawrie, Transafe, DCM Hyundai have assured that they have the technology required to manufacture these containers. Container inspection agencies like Lloyd Register and Indian Register of Shipping are already working with some Indian manufacturers to ensure production of world class containers.