India Market Update: Equipment and Space Shortages

Space and equipment shortages persist in the trade between India and North America. Import volumes into India, in particular volumes from China, are down due to restrictions on trade imposed by the India Government. This has resulted in a shortage of empty equipment in India.

The shortage is most critical at Inland Container Depots (ICD) but also evident at portside locations. Cargo volume from India to the United States is extremely strong as US importers look to replenish inventory depleted during the shut-down period in India in response to COVID-19.

Direct services to the US East Coast from main ports of Nhava Sheva and Mundra as well as transshipment services from South India to the US East Coast and all India to the US West Coast are equally effected by this space and equipment shortage. The situation with transshipment services is further exacerbated by the tight space from Far East transshipment ports. There is limited new container manufacturing in India which would otherwise serve to alleviate some of this pressure.

Recently we have seen carriers begin to offer guaranteed space subject to surcharges which average $750/container. This is similar to the trend which has already been evident in the Far East/North America trade for the past couple months.

It is strongly recommended that shippers place bookings at least 10-14 days in advance in order to increase the chances that space and equipment can be secured and cargo moved on schedule.

Worldwide Logistics Group will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates in this rapidly evolving market environment. Please contact your representative for more information.