freight rates, a demand-supply imbalance and shipment delays in the midst of a
global Covid crisis, have combined to damage India's once thriving trade,
reports Colchester's Seatrade Maritime News.
Worst affliction is the shortage of
containers, acute at major ports
affliction is the shortage of containers, particularly acute at major ports.
Although Mumbai's Nhava Sheva has seen 35 per cent improvement in container
availability in January over December according to Container xChange it will
take time for the benefits of this to filter through to shippers.
some sectors, freight rates have shot up by 200-400 per cent. Adding to the
woes of the trade is the cancellation of scheduled vessels, even as the
rescheduling of regular calls has created a demand for container slot.
freight rate from Chennai to Hamburg has
more than tripled
freight rate from Chennai to Hamburg has more than tripled to US$1,800 per TEU
from $500 in April 2020," said G Raghu Shankar of the ICSA Group, an
integrated logistics service provider.
rate to New York has shot up from $2,200 to $4,800 per TEU, while the rate to
Felixstowe has quadrupled, from $450 per TEU to $1,800. These are fluctuating
rates based on demand and supply. We fear the bleak situation may continue
beyond the present financial year (ending March 31, 2021)."
shortage of boxes is making it tough for Indian exporters to complete scheduled
shipments despite a sharp rise in export orders, according to the Cotton
Textiles Export Promotion Council (TEXPROCIL).
Shortage of containers at inland
container depots also
are facing shortage of containers not only at the gateway ports, but also at
inland container depots," said the council's chairman, Manoj Patodia.
"It takes more than two weeks for exporters to get containers for shipment
of cargoes; and that is resulting in delays and non-fulfilment of terms and
conditions as agreed with overseas buyers."
of the reasons being attributed to the shortage is the low volume of imports,
especially from China. Fortunately, trade between the two countries is
gradually getting stabilised, with import cargo from China into India
increasing, and the container repositioning for exports to China improving
Delay in shipments is leading to
cancellation of orders in many cases
the initial six months of lockdown from late-March 2020, exports of textiles
and clothing started picking up sharply," said Patodia. "Now many
exporters are holding export orders for shipments till March 31, 2021. However,
delay in shipments is leading to cancellation of orders in many cases. If the
issue is not resolved on a priority basis, textile and clothing exporters may
lose 20 per cent business."