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Container non-availability a challenge for export sector currently: FIEO

Non-availability of containers for the export sector is causing a concern for meeting delivery commitments of foreign buyers, apex exporters' body FIEO said on Wednesday

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Non-availability of containers for the export sector is causing a concern for meeting delivery commitments of foreign buyers, apex exporters' body FIEO said on Wednesday.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) President Sharad Kumar Saraf said that from the past couple of months, in spite of offering space for three to four weeks ahead, shipping lines are shutting out the containers abruptly giving reasons that the vessels are full.

He also said sea freights have started increasing gradually since July and all the shipping lines have increased the freights by 20 per cent to 40 per cent depending on the destinations.

There is a need for a regulatory agency for the shipping sector and "we expect that the proposed National Logistics Efficiency Advancement Predictability and Safety (NLEAPS) Act would be formulated and implemented soon to protect the exim (export-import) sector from such sudden and abrupt changes", he said.

He added that exports have started picking up and "therefore, this important component of export logistics needs immediate attention, else our exporters would not be able to capitalise on the new opportunities".

Saraf also said the government order to pay terminal handling charges to ports directly should be implemented across ports, as it will bring down logistics costs for the export sector and make them more competitive.