Conditions in India continue to worsen as the country faces a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reimposition and extension of lockdowns across the country are impacting the availability of labor at ports and inland locations. This is further exacerbating congestion and equipment issues. The number of Covid cases is increasing day by day there is a slowdown in cargo movements and in turnaround times to and from airports, seaports, CFS stations and ICD’s. With the increase of Covid cases in India, many carries, steamship lines, forwarders have announced WFH (Work from Home) conditions, and the government has asked factories to work at 50% staffing. This is creating further constraints to the operational activity required for shipment execution.
Cities impacted by lockdown:
- Chennai – Complete lockdown from 05/10 to 05/24.
- Bombay/Ahmedabad: Night Curfew from 1900 Hrs. to 0600 Hrs. through 05/20/2021
- Delhi: Lockdown Imposed till 05/20/21 with offices limited to 30% occupancy.
- Bangalore: Complete lockdown has been imposed for the next 14 Days from 04/27
Under lockdown – what is permitted?
- Movement of essential goods are fully allowed.
- Manufacturing facilities can operate with skeleton staff, except in Bangalore which is under a complete lockdown.
- Cargo movement is allowed with truckers that obtain special pass.
- Port/ Airport/ CFS, customs are operational with limited staff.
Carriers have stopped accepting bookings to the USWC and a few carriers including, Maersk and HMM have suspended operations until the end of May for USWC. GRI’s have been imposed by most of the carriers for USEC, USWC, EU AND OCEANIC REGIONS for the month of May.
General port conditions including: Nhava Sheva/Mundra/Tuticorin/Chennai/Kattupalli /Cochin and Ennore
- Space and Equipment shortages with many main liners carries to ISC, ME, EU, US and CA regions
- Many carriers are reporting inventory shortages of 40’ and 40HQ containers Ex-India to EU and US destinations.
- There are space issues from India especially to USWC and liners have stopped accepting bookings.
- All carriers have significantly increased their ocean freight pricing from India to all destinations – in some cases up to 200%.
- Advanced closure of gates in NHV port is creating challenges for scheduled shipment connections.
General airport conditions including: BOM/BLR/CCU/DEL/MAA
- There is high increase in demand for airfreight as many ocean shipments are expected to be converted from SEA to Air Mode
- Rates have increased and few carriers accept bookings without premium rates.
- Minimum Transit Time to the US is 8 to 9 Days and 5-6 Days for EU destinations.
- Few carriers are accepting cargo on Express rates due to demand.
- Booking with airlines must be placed at a minimum of 8 to 10 Days in advance.
- Congestion at connecting hubs (DOH, DXB, HKG, CDG, LHR, AUH) is increasing and causing additional delays.
- Many carriers have limited their passenger flight frequency to India resulting in reduced capacity for cargo.
- CX/BA/EK/QR have withdrawn many flights from INDIA as well as from HKG to worldwide destinations due to COVID restrictions.
Please contact your Laufer Sales and Operations Representatives for additional information and questions about how we can help with your shipments to and from India.