Exporters complain about continued non-availability of shipping containers at ports

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 07, 2020

Ask government to set up a regulator for the shipping sector

Exporters have complained about continued non-availability of containers for shipments at ports and rising freight rates making it difficult for them to meet their commitments to foreign buyers and have sought a regulatory agency for the shipping sector.

“For the last couple of months, despite offering space (to exporters) three to four weeks ahead, shipping lines are shutting out the containers abruptly stating that the vessels are full,” pointed out SK Saraf, President, FIEO, in an official statement.

Sea freights have also started increasing gradually since July and all the shipping lines have increased their rates by 20-40 per cent depending on the destinations, Saraf said.

Shortage of containers

FIEO called for a regulatory agency for the shipping sector and expressed hope that the proposed National Logistics Efficiency Advancement Predictability and Safety (NLEAPS) Act would be formulated and implemented soon to protect the export import sector from such sudden and abrupt changes.

Engineering exporters’ body EEPC India, too, had written to Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal last week complaining about an acute shortage of shipping containers and arbitrary increase in freight rates and had suggested that a regulator be set up to deal with the “monopolistic’’ practices of shipping companies.

One of the reasons cited by shipping lines for the shortage in containers for outward traffic and increase in freight was a decline in imports, especially from China, EEPC India pointed out in the letter.

Published on October 07, 2020

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