North American retailers and manufacturers are shifting their focus to India, as the country works to solidify its position as a trade alternative to China. For nearly a decade, India has made strides towards making itself attractive to foreign trade and investment. In March of 2024, a new policy was approved to lower customs duty for manufacturing facilities of e-vehicles. This and similar trade policies are attracting the likes of the largest manufacturers, such as Tesla, to invest in new factories in India.

“As trade tensions persist between the US and China, India emerges as a formidable contender, offering diverse manufacturing capabilities, competitive labor costs, and favorable trade policies. The surge in US imports from India, particularly in textiles, auto parts, and electronics, reflects its growing prominence as a viable alternative,” said Sabri Aminuddin, Route Development Manager, South Asia.

US imports from India have doubled over the past 10 years, with an increase of over 132% of containerized shipments from India to the East Coast, as reported by the JOC. Container lines have begun investing in the expansion of ocean services such as MSC’s latest feeder service to Paradip, which further enhances India’s infrastructure to maintain this upward trend of imports out of the country’s ports. The demand for shipping services is further demonstrated with the advancement in new direct routes from India to the US from ONE and HMM.

“Over the past five years, Mohawk Global has focused on cultivating our India Center of Excellence, aiming to demystify trade procurement and transportation across the South Asian region,” stated Anthony Pagnotto, VP of Global Sales and Marketing. “Our team of specialists boasts extensive expertise, ready to support both new and established clients as they explore the benefits of integrating India into their supply chain strategy. We excel in freight forwarding, complemented by our services in project freight.”

As India manufacturing continues to compete with China, surrounding South Asian countries are enhancing infrastructure to support demand. Sri Lanka, recently named the 3rd best-connected country in the region, is also set to record the highest performance in container movements and revenue out of the Colombo Port. Bangladesh’s Chattogram Port has also made improvements to port navigation facilities, which has allowed larger vessels to dock. These enhancements have contributed to a surge in container handling and trade efficiency.  

Despite favorable trade policies and developments, exporting out of India requires expertise to decipher complicated regulations and barriers in communication. Our India trade specialists provide visibility and clarity to your shipments. Reach out today.

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