India’s Ports In Chaos As Coronavirus Lockdown Hits Operations


About $829 billion of goods traveled through India’s ports in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The country is also the third-biggest importer of crude oil and fourth-biggest of LNG, as well as a major buyer of coal and palm oil and an exporter of sugar.

However, airfreight operators and logistics firms are being forced to suspend operations because goods are piling up at cargo terminals due to lack of staff and trucks have been halted by police enforcing the Covid-19 lockdown across the country.

Global air freighter operators FedEx and UPS are suspending most flight operations to and from India. DHL Express may follow soon. Logistics companies including Ecom Express, Safexpress, and Spoton Logistics are shutting warehouses and delivery centres. They have stopped taking orders. Trucks of India’s DTDC, carrying medicines and equipment, have been halted midway. Future Supply Chain, which carries goods to Big Bazaar stores, is managing “sporadic operations” but its trucks are banned in states such as Punjab.

FedEx has temporarily and partially suspended pickup and delivery services for domestic and international to and from India, until further notice. Although it continues to bring in critical and life-saving medical equipment to the country. A person in the know said that wouldn’t be possible now with the choking of terminals. A total of 47 express freighters land in the country weekly. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) renewed its call to governments to take urgent measures to ensure their vital air cargo supply lines remain open, efficient and effective.