Container shipping companies, which handle about 55 percent of India’s merchandise trade, say exports volumes are picking up. The improvement they have witnessed is starting to show in official exports figures, which in September rose at the fastest pace in almost two years, according to figures released by the Commerce Ministry.
Data gathered in 17 ports show overseas shipments grew 11 percent in the first half of the year, putting containerized trade on track to expand as much as 9 percent this year. The data, along with government numbers released Friday, could be an early sign of a turnaround in export/import trade, which has held back India’s economy and left growth dependent on government and private consumption.
“The container industry is really the indicator of where the new markets are, the strength of the economy — you see the trends quickly,” said Franck Dedenis, the manager director of a shipping line’s South Asia unit. “This year we have seen strong growth for exports, so that’s a massive change.”