Vijayawada: The Federation of PA Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PA Chambers) during a representation to Union Minister of Trade and Industry Piyush Goyal briefed him that a sufficient number of containers were not available at major ports, causing problems for the country’s exporters.
Speaker of Chambers Pydah Krishna Prasad and Secretary General B Rajasekhar stressed in the memorandum that the non-availability of containers for exports from Andhra Pradesh could slow down and increase freight rates. The export industry is already feeling the heat of high container rates amid scarcity. Container charges have reached record levels in the past 10 to 15 days. The cost of delivering a container to or from India has gone from $ 7,000 to $ 10,000, down from $ 3,000 to $ 4,000 a few months ago. The final cost increases further depending on the distance traveled. As exporters are unable to meet their delivery schedules, they also run the risk of losing customers due to their dissatisfaction.
The global container shortage is the result of congestion at Chinese ports that were closed or are operating at lower capacity after the country announced new restrictions due to Covid-19. Strong container demand in the United States and Europe has also resulted in higher container prices.
“We understand that around 25,000 to 30,000 containers are in different ports around the country. These containers have not been unloaded due to disputes with customs and other departments,” they said.
The chambers are urging the Union Minister of Commerce to intervene in the case to ensure that they are made available to exporters and allocate around 2,000 containers to be available for exports from Andhra Pradesh. If this is not done immediately, Andhra Pradesh will lose key exports before the next holiday season in the West.
Some low-value export items that are exported in large volumes were the most affected. AP’s export items which include granite tiles, cotton yarn, tobacco, rice, fruit pulp, spices and others have already been affected. In addition to this, higher exchange rates are charged by freight agents and shipping lines at the time of posting B / Ls. Exporters are being asked to pay additional amounts to secure reservations on existing vessels.