Govt chalks out 4-point plan to deal with blockage of Suez Canal

The government on Friday said a four-point plan has been chalked out to deal with the situation arising from the blockage of Suez Canal.

The plan was chalked out in a meeting convened by the logistics division, Ministry of Commerce. It includes prioritisation of cargo, freight rates, advisory to ports and re-routing of ships.

A meeting in this regard was chaired by Special Secretary (Logistics) Pawan Agarwal attended by representative from the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, ADG Shipping, Container Shipping Lines Association (CSLA) and Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Under prioritisation of cargo, FIEO, MPEDA and APEDA will jointly identify cargo particularly perishable cargo for priority movement and work with the shipping lines for the same.

Besides, CSLA assured that the freight rates as per existing contracts will be honoured.

“A request has been made to the shipping lines to maintain stability in freight rates during the period of this crisis. It was noted that the situation is temporary and is unlikely to have a long-lasting impact,” the commerce ministry stated.

Once the blockage is over, it is expected that some bunching may take place, especially at the ports of JNPT, Mundra and Hazira, it said. “Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways assured to issue an advisory to these ports so as to gear up arrangements and ensure efficient handling during the forthcoming busy period,” the statement said.

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