KARACHI: Pakistani goods exporters have started facing acute shortage of empty containers throughout the country following the low import from China, Far-East countries and persistent lockdown in European countries.

“Country’s businessmen could do more exports last month (December 2020) if the containers were available for the goods on time,” one of the textile exporters said. “The cost of export is rising as the shipping lines not providing containers despite the assurance of higher costs,” he claimed.  

“The shipping lines like CMA, Maersk, COSCO and MSC in Pakistan are demanding ($4000-$4500 of 40ft container) three to four-time higher costs of empty containers for the last few weeks,” an agent of a shipping line said adding that empty containers are not available easily in Pakistan to export goods to Europe, America and Middle East countries. 

The main reason behind this shortage is the rising export from Pakistan for last three months, lockdown situation in Europe & other Middle East countries and slow clearances of containers at Pakistani ports, a booker of container claimed. “We are running from one shipping line to the other shipping line to book the container for exports,” he claimed.

Pakistan is not only the country who is facing a shortage of containers, but almost all the countries like China, India, Bangladesh and other countries are facing an acute shortage of containers. 

A carrier source told The Correspondent, “All carriers (Shipping lines) report severe shortages of the popular 40ft high-cubes (HCs) at their depots, and there has also been a run on 40ft standard boxes – even 20ft containers are sometimes showing as unavailable.”

The shipping line agent claimed that China’s shipping lines have issued a directive to bring back empty boxes as China’s exporters are demanding containers. 


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