Increased freight charges worry fruits and vegetable exporters

With most airlines including state run Air India increasing the freight rates, the exporters will now end up paying more for their shipments. The freight rate has been increased between 15 and 30 per cent for both general cargo and perishables.

This will further squeeze their margins, which were already under pressure due to a penalty the exporters are paying for delays due to the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland.

Air India, Indian Airlines, Emirates, Jet Airways, British Airways, Kingfisher, KLM, Gulf Air and Air Arabia are picking the cargo of those exporters who are offering the highest freight per kg.

Exporters of fruits and vegetables are most concerned about the increased rates as they export 300 tonnes of goods daily, of which 150 tonnes is air cargo, reported Business Standard.

The fruit and vegetable exporters association has sought a 6 per cent packing credit line from the Centre along with transport assistance by way of subsidy. It has also requested airlines to reconsider their decision to raise freight rates.

“Airlines should not exploit the situation by increasing freights to recover their losses,” said Ajai Sahai, director general of Federation of Indian Export Organisations.