Vizag which has traditionally been an export surplus (container) port has mostly grappled with the shortage of empty containers. Albeit a favorable thing as it implies the region exports more than it imports it does however create an ‘imbalance’ for containers.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made the shortage of empty containers even more glaring.
‘We are facing a huge shortfall of empty containers at Vizag. Exports are going up while imports have come down during this period. As it is Vizag has been an import deficit region and this pandemic has worsened the shortage of empty containers said VCLA president Mr. Jeevan speaking to Vizag Industrial Scan. He however appreciated the efforts of shipping lines who he said are doing a great job in trying to meet the demand of exporters by providing them empty containers.
‘There is a huge cost attached to bringing in an empty container into Vizag. On average the cost of bringing an empty container to Vizag ranges from USD200-250/TEU and shipping lines have been providing exporters with these empty containers at no extra charges’ said Mr. Jeevan.
He stated that for the past 4 months shipping lines on an average have been bringing in 5000-6000 empties per month, despite this there is a 30% shortage of empty containers.
Empty containers to Vizag are typically brought in from the ports of Colombo, Port Kelang, Singapore, and Chennai.
‘We have been supporting the trade by effectively repositioning containers’ said the president of the Visakhapatnam container lines association.