Shipping Corporation of India Ltd is one of India's largest shipping companies in terms of Indian flagged tonnage. The company is a company owned by the Government of India based in Mumbai that operates and manages vessels that services both national and international lines. The company owns and operates around one-third of the Indian tonnage, and has operating interests in practically all areas of the shipping business; servicing both national and international trades.
The company operates in three segments: liner and passenger services, bulk carriers and tankers and technical and offshore services. Liner segment includes break bulk and container transport. Bulk segment includes tankers (both crude and product), dry bulk carriers, gas carriers and phosphoric acid carriers. Others include offshore vessels, passenger vessels and services and ships managed on behalf of other organisations.
The company's fleet includes dry bulk carriers, very large crude carrier (VLCC) tankers, crude oil tankers, product tankers, container vessels, passenger-cum-cargo vessels, phosphoric acid and chemical carriers, LPG and ammonia carriers, and offshore supply vessels. Their worldwide operations are supported by offices in the four metros of India, namely Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata and they also have an office in London.
Shipping Corporation of India Ltd was incorporated on March 24, 1950 as Eastern Shipping Corporation Ltd. Western Shipping Corporation Ltd was amalgamated with the company with effect from October 2, 1961 and the name of the company was changed from Eastern Shipping Corporation Ltd to The Shipping Corporation of India Ltd on October 21, 1961.
In the year 1964, the company diversified their business into crude oil transportation. In the year 1973, Jayanti Shipping Company Ltd was amalgamated with the company. In the year 1975, the company acquired first Indian VLCC. Also, they set up a joint venture company namely IranoHind Shipping Company in Iran.
In the year 1984, the company diversified into offshore supply vessels through acquisition of 10 offshore supply vessels. In the year 1986, Mogul Line Ltd was amalgamated with the company. In the year 1987, the company established Maritime Training Institute at Mumbai. During the year 1990-91, the company executed the first memorandum of understanding with the Government of India specifying performance and operational targets.
In the year 1991, the company diversified into chemical tankers and cryogenic operations. In the year 1992, they divested 18.51% equity shares in favour of financial institutions, mutual funds, banks and FIIs. Subsequently, the company was changed from a private company to a public company and received a fresh certificate of incorporation on February 18, 1993. Also, the shares were listed on the BSE, the NSE, the CSE, the DSE and the MSE.
In the year 1993, the company acquired 3 cellular vessels namely Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. In the year 1994, the company made their second disinvestment of 3,864,600 equity shares constituting 1.37% of the paid up capital by the President of India in favour of FIIs, Mutual Funds and banks.
In the year 2000, the company was conferred the status of 'Mini Ratna' by the Government of India, enhancing powers for capital investment to the Board. In the year 2004, the company diversified into LNG transportation through joint venture with Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Qatar Shipping Company QSC and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. In the year 2005, the company acquired the VLCC of 316,000 DWT, largest ship in India's registry.
In the year 2006, the company entered into a joint venture arrangement with Forbes and Sterling Investments for operations in the chemical tanker. In the year 2008, the company conferred the status of 'Navratna' by the Government of India. They commenced their transformation through information technology project for better information management.
In the year 2009, the company acquired VLCC of 321,000 DWT, largest ship in the Indian Registry. They took over the management of two LNG carriers. In the year 2010, the company entered into joint venture arrangement with SAIL to provide shipping related services to SAIL for importing coking coal. In September 2010, the company signed the shipbuilding contract with Jiangsu Eastern Heavy Industries Co Ltd for acquisition of four Kamsarmax Bulk Carriers of about 80,000 DWT each.
As of September 30, 2010, the company had ordered the construction of 29 vessels, which they expect to be delivered between the year ended 2010 and 2013, and they have plans to order an additional 20 vessels in Fiscal Year 2011. In addition, as of September 30, 2010, they managed 64 vessels of 0.2 million DWT on behalf of Government agencies, public sector undertakings, and their joint ventures.
The company intends to expand and develop their container services. As part of their service routes, they plan to extend their reach into Southeast Asia, Southern Africa and North America. They are also reviewing ways in which they can connect their services to ports in East Africa as they believe that India is emerging as the biggest exporter of goods and project cargo to this region. They also intend to recommence their India-U.S. containership service in the future.
The company intends to expand and develop their break-bulk business by entering into new joint service agreements with vessel owners to operate in trade lanes that they believe present areas for diversification and growth such as Europe to the Middle East, the East Coast of the US to Europe and Southeast to Far East Asia. They intend to enter into joint ventures with reputable logistics providers for end to end logistical operations for projects in the area of power, oil and gas and infrastructure.
The company continues to explore possibilities of setting up joint venture companies and forging strategic alliances in their existing lines of business, which will further consolidate their leading position in the maritime world. The company also continues to explore possible areas for diversification into shipping-related activities. Some of the areas identified for expansion/ diversification include, Coastal and Feeder Services, Total Logistics, Container Freight Stations (CFSs), Terminal Development/ Management, Shipbuilding, Dredging, etc.