While the financial markets have swiftly recovered after the second pandemic wave and vaccination drives are securing people’s health, the government, on the other hand, has been quite proactive in all spheres in boosting the business climate in the country. Due to the skyrocketing demand for intercontinental products and services, the decline in logistical resources globally made worse by the Covid has resulted in an acute shortage of shipping containers. This trade disruption due to shortage of containers has also doubled cargo costs around the world and slowing the pace of recovery of many countries. Seeing the potential in sharp trade growth over the next decade, the government has focused on boosting the country’s containerised exports. Realising that China has a monopoly of about 90% of the global shipping containers and to curb the ongoing container shortage, the government has rolled out a first-time project to manufacture containers in Gujarat, thus lowering the logistical costs in the country. This move is specifically aimed at unshackling the country’s dependence on China and other foreign players. The government through CONCOR has given developmental orders to BHEL and Braithwaite to make 1000 containers each. Again, this move by the government to produce containers in the country is part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Initiative as it is an import substitute product.
The Indian Railways’ strategic initiative in 1988 to containerise cargo transport through rail transport and Inland Container Depots helped form a need to set up a separate organisation in promoting and managing the growth of containerisation in the country. Thus, Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) was incorporated in 1988. CONCOR has been in the news on the back of government disinvestment wherein the stock has rallied by over 50% in the last six months. The company’s operating performance has been quite strong for the March 2021 quarter with export volumes growing by 11% y-o-y and domestic volumes rising by 21% y-o-y. CONCOR is also going to be a key beneficiary in the upcoming Western Dedicated Freight Corridor which will transform the whole landscape of the transportation sector in the country. Analysts tracking the sector are quite bullish on the CONCOR stock and on the logistics sector and estimate the stock to appreciate by around 20% during the next six months on the back of finalisation of the disinvestment process and selection of the suitor.
Rajiv Kapoor is a share broker, certified mutual fund expert and MDRT insurance agent.