The coastline of India is about 7,517 km long, and the country has 12 major ports and 205 minor ports. In addition to investing continuously in infrastructure, the government also invites private investment. Extending reconciliation with the overall economy and additional development activities in India have opened doors for the cargo industry. During FY 2021-22, India's exports amounted to US$417.8 billion, while its imports amounted to US$610 billion. It is clear from such high figures that the market is interested in coordinated operations, This has given the Indian freight forwarding industry an opportunity to grow. The Sea Freight Forwarding market is expected to grow significantly over the forecast period between 2022 and 2028.
India’s preparations towards self reliant sea freight
To reduce the dependency on China and other foreign players, India has begun its process of manufacturing cargo containers domestically through two large and powerful organisations that are state-owned. China is the world leader in cargo containers and has global tenders for manufacturing and supplying the containers. Moving towards the native production of containers amid a worldwide surge in demand, India is looking to develop Bhavnagar in Gujarat as a container hub and has set up pilot projects for its manufacturing. In 2021, state-run Container Corp of India issued a tender for Indian companies to manufacture 6,000 containers for it. Braithwaite and BHEL were able to meet the quality standards. Jindal Steel is planning to set up its plants in Odisha and Chandigarh. This will open doors for existing and new container manufacturers in the country.
Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, “The Ministry of shipping during the last six months has taken several initiatives to encourage container production at Bhavnagar with the help of re-rolling and furnace makers who are encouraged to diversify in the space.”
Indian flag merchant ships' age profile, cost of finance, and tax regime all affect the industry's competitiveness. To enhance competitiveness, the government however has been proactive in its measures that, among other things, including the policy of shipbuilding financial assistance up to 20 percent of agreement cost to Indian shipyards with a monetary expense of Rs 4,000 crore, which is viewed as comparable to worldwide practices by specialists; overhauled standards for Right of First Refusal, that is to say, legally binding right of the first open door in contracting of vessels through a delicate cycle to Indian-fabricated and hailed vessels, trailed by unfamiliar constructed yet Indian hailed ones, and in conclusion to Indian-fabricated however unfamiliar hailed.
Sri Lanka crisis - an opportunity for Indian sea freight
The Sri Lankan emergency could end up being a bonus for India's worldwide exchange planned operations. Indian ports have proactively begun to profit from the interruptions caused at Colombo, with Mundra becoming the costliest port universally for standard holders this year. In April, it was the third costly port.As per experts, expansion in interest rate and higher traffic are the central points adding to the typical holder cost at Mundra shooting up in May to $2,489 (per unit cost for a 20ft dry compartment, or DC) TOl. Dry capacity compartments (20 or 40 feet long) are the widely recognized holders utilised in delivering dry products, barring things like food or synthetic substances that require refrigeration.
The above cases can strengthen India’s mission to conquer the sea freight industry with all basic amenities available in-house. India’s Atma Nirbhar scheme, the Government’s assistance, and other ongoing factors have added an edge to the current value of the sea freight industry in India.
India's trade with crisis-hit Sri Lanka 'at standstill': Exporters - India Seatrade News