Pakistan is exploring possibilities to acquire its own container ships fleet to face the current global supply chain difficulties, according to the country’s maritime minister.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi told Reuters that the country would initially charter space on container vessels and test the market before it launches discussion on the number of boxships it will acquire.

Zaidi noted that Pakistan is in negotiations through a public-private mechanism to create joint ventures to expand into the container shipping market.

There are three major container ports in Pakistan, incuding the Port of Karachi, which reported more than 2.2 million TEU in the financial year 2020-21.

Currently, the state-controlled Pakistan National Shipping Corporation has a fleet of 11 ships, including oil tankers and dry bulkers, and has issued a tender for another four ships, according to Zaidi.