Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

We are running short on shipping containers. And this is great news for India.

Published: February 25, 2021
Author: Manali bhanushali

With exports picking up and imports coming down, India is facing an acute shortage of containers that are used for transhipment of goods. Goods are placed in containers before being shipped to foreign shores, and the perishables are packed in refrigerated containers, which are placed on large ships before being sent off.

The change in export-import scenario is being attributed to revival of global growth and partly due to the momentum gained by Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (self-reliant India campaign).

Speaking to Mumbai Mirror, Amitabh Kumar, director general of shipping, said, “India has around 15 lakh containers. Now, imports have decreased due to Atmanirbhar Bharat campaign, and exports have gone up. We are facing a huge shortage of containers. We have got one lakh more containers now, but many more are needed.’’

Earlier, India’s imports were higher and exports were lower, and the country always had 10 to 15 per cent of containers empty at a time. “We had lots of empty containers but since August 2020, things have been different. There is a V-shaped curve in exports, and bulk exports have gone up,” said Kumar.

Officials in the shipping ministry also said that containers on a ship used to be cleared in 16 to 24 hours. In the initial days of the pandemic, the waiting time was five days and now it has come down. This is also a reason for the shortage of containers. Average voyage time increased and efficiency of ports also came down. The goods remained in containers for longer time.

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