Bangalore: India’s exporters face rising ocean transportation costs after at least three container carriers announced levying a so-called peak season surcharge on shipments from India to the US and Canada beginning 15 August.
APL Ltd, CMA CGM S A and Mediterranean Shipping Co S A said in separate notices to trade that they will impose a peak season surcharge of $320 for a 20 feet container and $400 for a forty feet container from Monday, two months later than originally planned.
Carriers are seeking more money from their customers as Christmas merchandise is shipped to the US and Canada, amidst a tighter supply of slots (space) on ships, said an executive at Mediterranean Shipping Co. India’s exports jumped a record 81.8% year-on-year to $29.3 billion in July, but India’s commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said in Delhi on 11 August that the high export growth rate was unsustainable in the coming months due to uncertainties in the US and European economies.
India’s 12 ports controlled by the central government loaded 2.58 million standard containers between April and July this year compared to 2.52 million standard containers a year ago, a growth of 2.17%.
The Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a research and discussion forum of major container shipping lines including APL, Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Co said carriers operating in the Asia-US trades could see positive indications of a peak season on the horizon, as retailers began re-stocking shelves for the back-to-school and holiday seasons and as businesses resume global sourcing of materials and components.