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Shipping container rentals up 10 times over past three months

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HCMC – The rentals of shipping containers have increased up to 10 times over the past three months, from less than US$1,000 to US$8,000-10,000 per 40-foot container, with some shipping lines attributing the surge to the shortage of containers caused by the Covid-19-induced backlogs of containers at ports.

Addressing a conference co-held by the Vietnam Maritime Administration and the Import and Export Department on January 12, businesses said the rentals are unreasonably high, making life greatly difficult for exporters and disrupting the shipping market. They suggested that shipping lines should adjust container rentals and publicly declare them.

They said the shortage would continue until the end of March or even the second quarter of this year if the pandemic continues unabated.

Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import and Export Department, said the surge in shipping rates and container rentals has significantly affected imports and exports.

“The Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Transport will present this problem to the prime minister to find ways to assist importers and exporters,” he said.

Hai suggested that businesses should flexibly use other means of cargo transport such as aviation because the shortage of shipping containers cannot be addressed overnight given the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Some businesses said the local authorities should resolve the backlogs of containers at ports.

According to the HCMC Customs Department, more than 2,800 containers, including some 2,000 containing scrap, have been stuck at the Cat Lai Port in HCMC for more than 90 days, affecting the operations of the port.

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