A report by Lakshmi Ajay in Indian Transport & Logistics News discusses the acute global container shortage, which is having a profound impact on trade. According to Ajay, sea freight rates from Cochin to Melbourne was US$650 for a 20ft container and $800 for a 40ft container in March 2020, before the pandemic hit. Now, these rates have climbed by 700% for 20ft containers to $5,200, and by 1000% for 40ft containers to $8800.
Similarly, freight rates from Mundra port in Gujarat to New York was $1,300 for 20ft and $1,600 for 40ft containers in March 2020, but have leapt by 592% for 20ft containers to $9,000, and by 650% for 40ft containers to US$12,000.
According to Ajay, the global shipping crisis is crippling Indian exporters, who face multiple challenges from runaway sea freight rates to transit delays, congestion in leading ports, an acute shortage of containers, and policy constraints.