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|Vietnamese seafood exporters have bene struggling with mounting shipping expenses|
In addition to the dizzily increasing production costs at the beginning of this year, shipping expenses have been an issue of concern for Vietnamese seafood exporters. At the moment, little cargo space is available for frozen goods as most seagoing vessels are giving priority to dry items that come with more favourable freight rates.
A local catfish exporter in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho complained about difficulties in finding a ship to the United States. "We are lucky to get a trip even without knowing how much it will cost because shipping companies usually send price quotations late,” said the exporter’s representative.
“Even if the vessel cannot go out on schedule for some reason, the price is up to $1,500 per container,” he added.
MSC, the leading global container shipping company, most recently revealed that it will stop shipping frozen goods to the US from April 2021. The move will mean more freight to other ships – but most of the suitable vessels have already been overloaded for months. Many shipping companies do not allow reservations either, which makes it difficult for producers who then need to hold their stocks while they find free cargo space – in a market where warehouse space is also short, according to VASEP.
Previously, in January this year, many seafood, plastic, and timber exporters said that they have been shouldering mounting container rental costs, with prices ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 per 40-feet container, and even hitting $10,000 for those travelling to the UK.