International shipping India in a “floating mood”

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Carriers carry windstorm among lack of empty container and freight increases

India has been particularly affected by the global container shortage, exacerbated by a simultaneous recovery in exports and falling imports, which, carriers claim, has led to high container repositioning costs. During July-September, India’s exports in terms of volume grew 24% from a year earlier, even as imports reduced 28%. In October, exports fell by 5.4% and imports by 11.26%. (

As a result, the shipping lines which until July 2020 used to ship out empty containers from India, had to start repositioning empty boxes into the country and move them inland to demand locations at a huge cost for the shipping lines.

Sea freight rates for European ports have increased by 60% (

Noting the impact of increased cost, several trade associations have expressed their concerns over monopolistic practices of shipping lines. They complained to the central government and asked it to rein in the uncontrolled rise in freight rates.

Besides, Air freights are also up by 30-40% due to a decrease in overseas flights owing to the pandemic.

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