MUMBAI: The outbreak of coronavirus has badly impacted the sea and air cargo business in Mumbai. According to the officials at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Uran, 20 per cent the important and export business through sea and air has been affected.
"The average cargo container used to arrive 1.25 lakh at JNPT against the today’s arrival of 80,000 to 90,000 containers," said Bhushan Patil, the trustee of JNPT.
He said that they have been taking all precautions to prevent the coronavirus at JNPT. The cargo vessels at JNPT port primarily arrive from China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Italy and Iran.
"These countries are also battling against the COVID-19, therefore, the naturally the vessel from these countries are down in numbers. We have been taking utmost precautions and care," Patil said.
Mumbai Port MD Sanjay Bhatia said that the cargo business has been virtually closed down at Mumbai port. "Most of the business has been shifted to JNPT. Only oil vessels are coming at our port however this business has not been much impacted because of coronavirus. But the cruise business has been impacted. We had started the cruise services Mumbai to Goa and other parts of the country. In wake of coronavirus, all booking is cancelled," Bhatia said.
Sanjay Pansare, the fruit exporter at Mumbai Agriculture Produce Market Committee said that the air cargo business has been completely shut down. "The sea cargo business is on but there is no demand. In the summer season, we export the mangoes, particularly in gulf countries. These countries are also suffering from the coronavirus outbreak so the demands are not much. But the good part is this year; there are no good productions as well. The produced mangoes have been sold at the local market only," said Pansare.