India’s maritime administration is keen on putting cargo ships sailing from ports of coronavirus infected countries under mandatory surveillance, in consequence to which freight rates for shipping commodities into India from countries requiring a voyage period of less than 14 days is expected to see a huge spike, as they would have to wait outside the port till the two week period ends before allowed to unload cargo.

For India, an array of commoditised shipments arrives from Southeast Asian countries which are typically short-haul trades with voyage time of 5-7 days. So, ships will have to wait on the high seas for the extra 7-9 days before it can come to the port to comply with the 14-day rule since leaving the previous port.

India imports about two-thirds or 65 per cent of its crude oil and about 90 per cent of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) annually from the Middle East, where the voyage time is about a week to India’s West Coast and a little more to the East Coast.

Freight rates for transporting crude oil have also increased since early March in the wake of the huge price cuts unleashed by Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil producer, following a row with OPEC + member Russia over production cuts.


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