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Maritime transport: crisis will bring rise in product prices

The Marine transport it faces a major crisis with a shortage of containers and rising freight and a high dollar. The effects are not yet 100% reflected, but they are already looming and an uncertain scenario is predicted.

Disrupciones

Moisés Woll, president of the Peruvian Maritime Association (Asmarpe), explained that the maritime transport situation is due to market disruptions due to the pandemic. The rapid reactivation of the economies unleashed a increase in the demand for the products, since the importing countries exhausted their stocks.

“They began to replenish their stocks through new purchase orders. The consumption pattern changed and there was a higher demand for imported products which caused a wave of orders, but the installed capacity of ships was not enough to serve it ”, Woll detailed to The Republic.

Container shortage

These containers are one of the keys on the subject. Woll commented that “although the shipping companies did not stop operating, they did have to readjust their services to adapt to the limitations caused by COVID-19”, such as the closure and congestion of ports in China (it houses 7 of the container ports biggest in the world).

“The containers They had a rotation of 60 days – round trip – and 10 more days for the discharge. But the days increased due to sanitary measures. As it is rotating slower, more of these are put into the fleet, but those who make them were in closure. This finally ended up making the dates of the landfalls unpredictable, ”noted the Asmarpe representative.

Despite this situation, in Callao the volume of import container cargo from January to July 2021, with respect to the same period last year, is as follows: Asia to Peru, 48% more; from the US to Callao there was a 17% increase; while from the Old Continent to our country there was 35% of increase.

“Although we have had congestion situations (Callao), the ships have been attended within the windows that have been offered and with some regularity. We are not seeing the crisis in Los Angeles and London ”, Woll clarified.

Freight and dollar hike

According to the BCRP, maritime transport costs showed a sustained and marked upward trend at the global level. Thus, for example, the average shipping rate for a 40-foot container reached US $ 10,000 last September.

Susana Saldaña, president of the Gamarra Peru Association, affirmed that Gamarra’s microentrepreneurs pay freight for about US $ 15,000. At Mesa Redonda, shipping for a container from China to Callao costs US $ 19,000; as commented to this newspaper by Román Nazario, vice president of the Chamber of Entrepreneurs and Merchants of the conglomerate.

From the Association of Exporters (ADEX) they reported that the freight ranges between US $ 16,000 and US $ 20,000. Meanwhile, spot rates in the US are around US $ 30,000 and in Europe they are around US $ 20,000, according to Woll.

Juan Carlos Mathews, vice president of HEP-Higher Ed Partners, said that “the increase in the dollar made all import regions more expensive, in addition to having a more severe impact than the freight price.”

“Every businessman who uses foreign trade is affected”

From Gamarra, Saldaña warns that the disruptions will mean that in the coming months not only the costs of garments rise in the commercial emporium, but there will be a shortage of elements such as yarn, fiber cotton and some fabrics. In addition, and no less important, it will affect the end of the year campaign or that of the beginning of 2022.

Meanwhile, Nazario admitted that the prices of some products in Roundtable have already increased their cost by 120% (basic necessities and toys), while household items have done so by 30%.

In short, for Rafael del Campo from ADEX: “Every businessman who uses foreign trade for the development of his companies is affected.”

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