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India to make cargo containers; ‘to kick out of dependency’

India is on its way to get itself free from depending on other countries. Be it in trade, technology, medicine; India is lifting the motto of ‘Aatmanirbhar’ more than ever. And in this regard, India has begun the process of manufacturing cargo containers indigenously through two state-owned heavy-engineering behemoths.

Braithwaite and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited have received developmental orders from Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), which owns 85 per cent of the container movements market, to try and make 1,000 containers each. At present, India is incapable to manufacture its own cargo containers. India depends on other countries for their manufacture, mainly China. China is the global leader in cargo containers.

“In China, they have integrated the container manufacturers and steelmakers, which gives them a huge advantage. Here that is not the case. We have to do a lot of backward integration. We are developing one by one. By end of March, we will be able to provide the first prototype,” Yatish Kumar, chairman and managing director of Braithwaite told.

Officials are of the opinion that since India has never made critical components yet, it will be a little tough to beat China. The critical components include corner casting and structural components include channels. Officials term them as “odd design” typical to wagons and they are not designed by India’s premium iron and steel companies. In a nutshell, a PSU like Braithwaite needs to install a complete rolling mill to churn out these unique components with the desired designs. After the prototype is made, it will have to be tested by relevant testing agencies and certified before they can be inducted, officials said.

Each container may cost around Rs 2.5 lakh. Containers will be moved on road by trucks or by rail. By rail they cost less, bringing down the cost of logistics.

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