Indian Exporters Feel the Heat of Container Logjam

Posted by rakhi raghavan

Foreign buyers have started cancelling the shipments boarding from India because the exporters are not able to avail any containers leading to consignments lying at various ports for weeks together.

This, coupled with ever-soaring freight rates and congested ports, has left the small-time exporters of India fighting for every penny as the freight rates are higher than the cost of their product.

While the exporters are in talks with shipping lines and the shipping ministry of India, the Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation (FIEO) will soon launch an online portal to ease the exporters’ business operations.

FIEO Chairman, Dr A Sakthivel told Container News that, “FIEO is launching an e-module by mid-August 2021 to provide a platform where shippers can place their requirement of containers and the shipping lines, freight forwarders can put out their competitive quote. The marketplace will ensure transparency, competitive pricing and efficient planning.”

While the container crunch issue is not exclusive to India, the export body has requested the shipping lines to bring in more empty containers and has asked the Indian Railways to provide free movement of containers from gateway ports to hinterlands. The waiting period for containers currently ranges from 10 to 15 days, which used to be just a day in early 2020. Exporters are paying a 100% premium for containers availed on an urgent basis.