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Equipment Issue in India

India’s container shortage could last another three months, as congestion hits Colombo and shippers call for tighter regulation of freight rates.

It is clear that the acute space problem over the past months was the result of increased demand, reduced imports and port rotation issues.

I can confirm based on what I now understand is that Vessels which were idling during the corona-lockdown were re-routed to more profitable trades on the transpacific, leading to supply and demand gaps for major intra-Asia trading route

Due to the lack of containerships calling at Indian ports, many carriers have cut short their container lease positions, which has created a shortage and led to additional costs and time to reposition boxes.

The acute shortage of equipment from all shipping lines is expected to continue into Christmas and the early part of 2021

The situation is getting worse! All Shipping lines have increased their freight rates with significant surcharges for priority shipping – the problem however is that importers and shippers are paying extremely high rates but still incurring delays!


Another challenge has been the cyber-attack on CMA CGM which created significant delays to the booking process

And now port congestion in Sri Lanka had further complicated the situation. There is a waiting period of three to four weeks at Colombo for further connectivity of containers, according to MSC, which has resulted in congestion

Indian exports have fallen for six months in a row, including a 12.6% year-on-year decrease in August, leaving shippers bemused at the lack of available containers, and many trade associations have approached the government for support.

Yesterday the Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) called on the government to set up a regulator to rein-in what it claimed were “monopolistic” practices of shipping lines.

Things are out of control and it seems none of the government officials are stepping in to help resolve the situation!