As the country struggles to bring Indian trade back to pre-COVID levels and move towards the new normal, exporters have raised concerns over the scarcity of containers at the Indian ports and have sought the intervention of the government.
As per reports, the sea, air and dry ports of the nation have been facing a major scarcity of containers. It is believed that the Inland and dry ports are witnessing more shortage of containers as compared to the others.
This shortage of containers has brought a rise in the rentals of containers by about 50%.
“The availability of containers has become a big issue. Almost all shipping lines are giving reasons of container shortage and have jacked up the freights for October by a massive $300 to $800 per 40 feet full container load, particularly for the European and North and South American ports.”~Sharad Kumar, President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO)
At present, to send in inventories to the Gulf region, the rental for 20ft container is $1200 while to send it to Europe its $2000 and $4500 for US
As per exporters, they have to pay an extra amount for the availability of the container, and even after paying extra there is no guarantee of the container being available on time.
A big reason behind the scarcity of containers is the downfall of imports from China. Earlier, the containers in which the imports were coming were used to send exports back to the nation.
Due to the unavailability of containers, logistics and shipping companies are now compelled to import empty containers for the exporter.
Shipping lines are importing containers, and the rents of the containers are to be paid by the exporters due to which the overall logistics cost is adding up, informed an exporter.
The exporters have thus expressed the need for government intervention. They are urging the government to look into the matter in order to maintain the ongoing momentum of export.