The shortage of containers has been eased with 58 per cent additional exports being managed in March year-on-year, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Pawan Agarwal, Special Secretary in the Logistics Division of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said close coordination is being maintained between shipping lines and exporters.
This resulted in shared understanding of the situation and requirements along with better planning by both sides, he said.
"By early March, the waiting time for availability of containers at inland container depots and ports was down to two to three days. At several terminals like Tughlaqabad, Dadri, Jaipur and terminals on Delhi-Ppat route, the figure is now less than a day," said Agarwal.
Congestion at major ports globally due to Covid-19 pandemic and an acute imbalance between exports and imports domestically were largely the factors responsible for container shortage.
Besides, the blockage of Suez Canal in March had seriously impacted global trade. To minimise the impact and sustain exporter confidence, a four-point plan was chalked out by the government.
This included prioritisation of cargo, stability in freight rates, advisory to ports to prepare for expected bunching once the canal reopens and re-routing decisions.
To improve availability of containers, India is also targeting to manufacture them domestically. CONCOR has already issued an order of 2,000 containers to BHEL and Braithwaite and Co Ltd.
Discussions have been initiated with steel manufacturers for producing COR-TEN steel at competitive prices. Railway wagon manufacturers, BHEL and private manufacturers DCM-Hyundai and Balmer & Lawrie are being asked to set up production lines.
( With inputs from ANI )
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