Oct 29

Centre proposes mandating license for foreign vessels engaged in coastal shipping in India

A number of major global container shipping lines have started skipping country’s up container gateways, following the disruption caused at the major ports by the lockdown imposed by the Centre to check the spread of COVID-19. But this has not affected the number of commercial ships moving in the shipping lanes of the Indian ocean, which continue at the earlier levels of 11,000 to 12,000 ships at any given time.

Major global container shipping lines, which include Maersk Line, Hapag-Lloyd, CMA-CGM and China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), are reported to have begun completely skipping the country’s top container gateways, including the state-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and Chennai port, and the Adani-operated Mundra port, industry players confirmed to The Indian Express.

“Due to the significant reduction in demand, we will be having blank sailings (sailings canceled by the carrier) from West Asia/Indian subcontinent to Europe and Mediterranean … and vice-versa,” said Maersk Line, the world’s biggest container liner, in a customer advisory dated April 3. Issues in clearing import containers from the ports and adjoining container freight stations, alongside the problems arising on account of the complete lack of export shipments from India, have ended up disrupting carrier schedules.

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