Ahmedabad: The Federation of Kutch Industries Association (FOKIA), the apex body of Kutch’s industries and associations, has sought immediate intervention of the union government in regulating sea freight charges. The demand comes in the wake of a huge jump in container freight rates, leading to heavy losses to industries.
In a representation to commerce minister Piyush Goyal, FOKIA said the surge in container freight rates and container shortage has resulted in industries losing export orders worth millions of dollars of low-value products.
FOKIA said the crisis comes as a double whammy as it has occurred when the Covid-19 pandemic has already triggered a slowdown across the world.
“The Exim trade and shipping industry are not unscathed by this crisis, which has caused inordinate disruptions and delay in the supply chain of goods & services, leading to huge demand of shipping cargos at exorbitantly high freight rates. As a result, there is a container shortage and skipping of vessels sailings across the globe,” the representation said.
FOKIA suggested that the shipping and commence ministries regulate the sea freight on a port-to-port basis. It also suggested setting up of Nationalized Shipping Liner Carrier as a GOI enterprise, with containers made in India and dedicated exclusively for Indian merchandise Exim cargo with containers.
The federation also pressed for recognising commercial shipping companies as a key industry in line with agricultural services, steel manufacturing, cement, electricity, etc.
“We need support from commerce and shipping ministries by way of regulating freight rates on port and sector-wise basis, which will result in boosting Indian exports,” said Nimish Phadke, Managing Director, FOKIA.