Shipping container scarcity coupled with worries about and increase in ocean freight rates has left the export industry in turmoil.
Madurai: The maritime economy was worst hit in the pandemic, sources said. According to T Velshankar, president, Tuticorin Stevedores Association, the stakeholders relying on EXIM (Export – Import) trade could hardly avail service of container vessels owing to COVID restrictions. Moreover, ocean freight rate has increased manifold, thus resulting in accumulation of cargo at freight stations. The ocean freight has increased by Rs 70,000 and even beyond depending on destinations, in the Indian currency value, for a container. P Jegatheesan, president, Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Madurai, said the container shortage is hitting Indian exporters more. An appeal was made to Ministry of Commerce and Industry to provide freight subsidy.