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Shortage of reefer containers, increased freight charges

Pakistan experts identify impediments to growth of fruit & vegetables exports

A critical shortage of reefer containers, coupled with increased freight charges is posing a serious threat to exports of fruits and vegetables, exporters said. They said that the exports of fruits and vegetables is facing difficulties due to shortage of reefer containers and the factor for the existing acute shortage of reefer containers can be attributed to a reduction in the volume of import cargo followed by the marked downward trend in the import of products from China which is having a pronounced negative impact on exports of Pakistan.

It is peak export season for kinnow, potato and onion but due to acute shortage of empty reefer containers, the export is likely to hit badly. One hundred reefer containers per day consisting of Kinnow, Potato and Onion are being exported from Pakistan and after suspension of the import of Garlic from China, the Chinese's Garlic is also being re-exported from Pakistan. Against the demand of 1500 reefer containers per month, around 1000 reefer containers are hardly available, they mentioned.

According to Waheed Ahmed, the Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA), the opportunity to export onion from Pakistan has further brightened after suspension of export of onion from India and likewise the export of Kinnow is also on the peak now.

Around 600 plus reefer containers of Kinnow and the same volume of reefer containers of Potato and Onion are being exported per month from Pakistan. Besides, Garlic, different other fruits and vegetables are being exported as well and this is a unique opportunity to enhance export manifolds, however, the acute shortage of reefer containers is likely to cast its darkl shadow on this golden opportunity, he concluded.

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