Import from India severely hampered by container shortage
19 October 2020
Sea freight from India is suffering severely from the consequences of the corona crisis. A serious container shortage is currently making imports from India very difficult. On top of that, the containers that are still available go for ridiculous rates and a high Peak Season Surcharge (PSS) has been set. The situation is expected to take another 2 to 3 months to improve. Meanwhile, we are looking for creative solutions.
Lockdowns block trade
India is dealing with lockdowns in various regions. This makes trade to and from ports in these regions impossible, as drivers coming from a code-red area are forced to spend 14 days in quarantine. Trade is only possible in regions where this is not a requirement.
Due to the lockdowns, container transport from other countries to India has decreased significantly. Due to closed factories, the demand for transport from India is likewise low. As a result, shipping companies are moving both sailings and empty containers to other countries. Because of this, there are simply no containers available for export, and sailings are cancelled.
Due to the container shortage, shipping agencies charge exceptionally high rates for container shipping. On top of that, a PSS of $200 per TEU has been set which applies to all bookings with an on-board date from 23 October. The 20’ containers suffer the greatest shortage, though 40’ containers are likewise nearly impossible to come by. Those shippers who still manage to get their cargo moving are paying dearly for it.
Being creative with the container shortage
While booking in advance used to be a solution for capacity issues, this is no longer the case now. The situation with regard to the container shortage is unpredictable, and changes every day. Shipping goods from India will remain difficult for the time being.
Of course, we continue to keep a close eye on the situation in India. In cooperation with our local agents, we are proactively looking for solutions to get your goods on the way. Possible solutions include shipping from Inland Container Depots (ICDs), rather than Indian main ports. These locations sometimes still have containers available.
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