Union Ministry drafts 4-point plan to deal with Suez Canal blockade



Union Ministry of Commerce has chalked out a four-point plan to deal with the situation arising from the blockage of the Suez Canal.

The 400 metres Ever-Given ship has been stuck in the Suez Canal since March 23.

The blockade of the world’s busiest shipping route for almost four days now has caused traffic jams and substantial loss to many stakeholders.

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

"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.

"Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways assured to issue an advisory to these ports to gear up arrangements and ensure efficient handling during the forthcoming busy period," the statement said.

The route is used for Indian exports and imports worth USD 200 billion to/from North America, South America and Europe, including petroleum goods, organic chemicals, iron and steel, automobile, machinery, textiles and carpets, and handicrafts, including furniture and leather goods.

"It is estimated that this backlog should take about a week to clear out. It was decided in the meeting to closely monitor the situation," the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) will jointly identify cargo, particularly perishable cargo for priority movement.

(Edited by Gabriel G Momin)


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