Poddar Global brings a chartered break bulk vessel of newsprint to India

By 18 Jun 2022

The Covid pandemic has ravaged many industries and economies around the world, and the newsprint industry is no exception. Global supply chains have been suffering logistical disruptions for more than two years now, as cargo containers are unavailable and ports are congested due to unavailability of staff and intermittent operational stoppages due to Covid-19-related lockdowns. As a result, retailers have been left with empty shelves and factories have been forced to shut down temporarily as they do not have components in stock.

Poddar Global hopes that this first vessel of newsprint from Russia will help the Indian newspaper industry

In India also, several domestic newsprint manufacturers are converting their mills to produce packaging material due to large volume growth in eCommerce. Only a few Indian mills continue to produce newsprint and even these mills are facing an acute shortage of recycled fibre.

India imports approximately 1.6-million MTS newsprint (pre-pandemic figure) annually, and Russia is the major newsprint paper supplier into India, participating in 50-60% of total import of newsprint.

For the last two years, the Indian newspaper Industry has been facing a big challenge due to shortage of newsprint supplies and steep increase in newsprint prices on account of Covid-19, global capacity shut, high energy cost, logistics hit and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The exclusion of Russian newsprint from the Asian markets due to sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine is exacerbating the undersupply situation and leaving the Indian newspapers struggling to find supplies.

The logistical situation considering non-availability of containers/vessels in view of cease off operations by shipping lines and hampered banking/financing services due to swift sanctions furthermore no insurance coverage for Russian cargo is massively cutting the trade.

In view of ongoing tight supply supported by an increase in demand in India ahead of festival season, running from August to October, newsprint prices will continue to rise.

Poddar Global to the rescue 

To ease out newsprint supplies to Indian newspapers, Poddar Global has managed to bring a Chartered Break Bulk Vessel M/V LADA (arrived on 5 June at Mumbai Port) from Russia carrying standard newsprint. It is the first time after 25 years Russia has loaded the first break bulk vessel of newsprint and India is also getting for the first-time newsprint by break bulk after 25 years.

For more than a decade, the break bulk market has changed drastically, and it has been substituted by modern technology capable of handling containerised cargo shipping. As no cargo fits into a standard logistics solution, cargo with different dimensions requires a different set of equipment and infrastructure, as well as experienced personnel. It is also important to note that since paper is a fragile item, the incorrect cargo handling may result in distortion of paper rolls. It is an unfortunate fact that no equipment is available at port or the market capable enough to handle the break bulk cargo of newsprint paper.

Poddar Global has made all the efforts to bring this break bulk vessel operations successful with the help of its own specialised and experienced team of logistic personnel. At least two months prior to the arrival of vessel, M/V LADA-Russian-flagged ship, the company initiated for all the necessary measures, permissions, licences and approvals in addition of arranging own equipment/machinery, specially designed by experienced engineers for handling of break bulk cargo of Newsprint keeping in mind safety/security and fragile nature of product to avoid any kind of damage.

Poddar Global hopes that this first vessel of newsprint from Russia will help the Indian newspaper industry to get regular flow of newsprint at reasonable prices from Russia in this critical time.

Poddar Global is one of the leading importer, aggregator and distributors of newsprint and paper products in India for the last 36 years, having own bonded warehouses with specialised supply chain and conversion facilities on more than 300,000-sqft in all major Indian port towns, including Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Cochin and New Delhi. Poddar Global supplies standard newsprint and other publication papers to Indian newspapers and magazines.

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