As migrant truck drivers head home, JNPT sees disruption in movement of reefer containers

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on March 29, 2020

The movement of reefer containers outside the JNPT have been affected as about 50 per cent of the drivers have left for their hometown just before the lockdown. Those who have stayed back at the garages near the port fear police brutality once they hit the road.

In trade, parlance refrigerated containers are called reefer boxes or reefer containers. They carry perishable items such as fruits, vegetables, frozen meat and life-saving medicines.

A senior manager of a large refer company told BusinessLine that the movement of reefer containers has been stalled due to driver shortage. Until the buses and trains were functioning, drivers left sensing danger to their lives. It has been the same since the Janata curfew. Yards where containers are tuned and made ready for a particular perishable commodity was are also affected due to the lockdown. The yards ensure that the refrigeration systems in containers to set to a particular temperature. They also carry safety checks on the containers. Otherwise, the goods can go bad.

“Today, the grape season is full swing, the crop is satisfactory. But due to these problems, the harvesting has been affected in Maharashtra. I have met drivers at the garages of large transporters for motivating them to resume duties. We are telling then that driving the containers is serving. We are telling them that you cannot go to the military and serve the country but taking essential goods is also a service to the nation,” said the manager.

The manager added that the fear has set foot in the minds of the people about police brutality. But this is not true. Drivers are being motivated by saying that carrying goods such as essential lifesaving medicines, is also saving lives of the people.

Letters have also been issued to drivers so that in event of an kind of police barricades on the highway, the police could check with higher authorities. Hard copies of the cargo itinerary have been issued to the drivers so that their journey remains uninterrupted.

Published on March 30, 2020

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