A number of Kerala-based exporters has decided to shift to major ports like Thoothukudi and Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai citing unaffordable ocean freight charges, long transit time and hostile attitude of central agencies at Kochi port.
The 180-member Kerala Exporters Forum (KEF) claimed a majority of exporters have decided to shift. The Vegetable and Fruit Exporters Association stopped sending shipments from the port since November 25, claiming that high freight charges and GST had made exports unaffordable.
The volume of exports from Kochi port stood at 129,437 tons in August and 104,557 tons in September. Kerala exports 250 tons of fruits and vegetables by air per day and 375 containers of vegetables by sea per month. The freight charge for a 40-feet container from Kochi to Jebel Ali (Dubai) is $1,545, against $533 from Nhava Sheva port.
Exporters also complained that the delay in transit of cargo from Kochi was causing loss of business.