Door to door cargo delivery services to destinations in India have slowed over the past two months. Cargo firms have attributed the delays to stricter enforcement of rules by Indian authorities who recently unearthed huge duty evasions due to nexus between cargo agents and customs officials.
Stricter customs clearance norms have meant slackened business, say companies. “We used to send over 50 tonnes of cargo per month from Oman. This has halved to 25 tonnes per month. Business to India has slowed down,” A Mohammed Ali, operations manager of Rajab Cargo Services, which has operations in many GCC states, said.
Abdul Manaf, in charge of Ruwi-based Smart Cargo, said, “Earlier, we would deliver cargo to Indian cities within 12 days. Now, it takes up to two months and is affecting business.”
The cost per kg of cargo was 900bz which has risen to RO1 and may go up to RO1.200 to cover operational costs,” Manaf said.
Most door to door cargo companies offer two kinds of services – the gift parcel service, which allows one to send cargo worth Rs10,000 (approx RO71), and consolidated parcel service, under which consignments from different persons to the same destination are clubbed together. This service has been most hit, Mohammad Ali said, adding that consolidated parcels are sometimes routed through the sea, which takes at least 50 days for delivery.
Due to delivery delays, some companies have opted out of door to door cargo services. Mohammed Khaleel, sales manager of Al Kahlul International Shipping in Al Khuwayr said, “We have temporarily stopped door to door cargo service as delays in delivery have inconvenienced many of our customers.”