The drastic measures introduced by some importers have followed the strict social restrictions placed on the Indian public, which may be seen as an ironic twist of fate considering the outbreak started in China.

Lockdowns have prevented some dock and distribution workers from attending their places of work, meaning products are not getting unloaded quickly enough. Indian truckers have not been able to collect import cargo from terminals or freight stations and ports continue to build up with containers. In Chennai, on India’s east coast, there are reports of a build-up of 50,000 backlogged containers.

India has now entered its second phase of lockdown and 170 regions have been designated red zones, which identifies highly infected areas. The major cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Hyderabad have all been designated red zones.  With a population of 1.3 billion, India is the second most populous country in the world and has only reported around 400 coronavirus related deaths at this stage.

However, the movement towards Chinese products, coupled with the widespread congestion, could mean that India’s recovery will be more difficult than most.

There are already fears that the Indian aviation industry may not survive the pandemic intact – the sector is rumoured to be near to bankruptcy following grounded flights and no industry bail out plan has been announced so far.

Westbound operate a range of ocean and air freight services, both in and out of India, which means we will be continuing to monitor the situation closely and will update any major developments. In the meantime, we continue to suggest that customers contact us before arranging any new shipments.


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