02 Jul 2017 - 8:37
The international shipping services of Qatar Post are continuing normally and not affected by the current blockade.
02 Jul 2017 - 8:46
The prices of foods items are likely to go down significantly in local markets as traders have started to focus more on bringing items via ships than by air cargo.
Local traders have geared up their efforts to ensure availability of food items in enough quantity at reasonable prices in local markets to minimise or to totally overcome the impact of blockade.
The move includes intensifying maritime operations to cut the reliance on air cargo and opening new markets. Talking to The Peninsula, the traders said that with increasing ship consignment, the prices of foods and non-food items will come down significantly.
“Prices of goods imported via ships are 10 to 25 percent cheaper compared to those being transported by air," Shanavas, Regional Manager of Lulu Hypermarkets told The Peninsula. “Lulu Hypermarkets has started importing full containers carrying foods and non-food items including perishable goods like fruits and vegetables via ships from India”, said Shanavas.
"On Wednesday, Lulu imported 25 tonnes of watermelon in a refrigerated container by ship from India," he said, adding that another shipment carrying 25 tonnes of banana is on the way from India to Qatar and expected to arrive this week. "There is overbooking at Indian ports as many traders from Qatar have approached India to bring consumable goods from there. We are in the waiting list for booking containers carrying rice, sugar, coconut and edible oil and other goods at India ports," said Shanavas.
On availability of consumable items in the country, Regional Manager of Lulu Hypermarkets said: "Our imports through air cargo are regular and chartered flights are continued to ensure the food security in the country. However we focus on sea route to reduce the transport cost."
"Lulu’s second chartered flight carrying 65 tonnes of fruits and vegetables arrived Qatar on Wednesday. The consignment included tomato and mangoes among various other regular items. Tomato and some other perishable goods whose prices increased slightly are expected to come down gradually especially with increasing the shipment via sea route."
Regarding the price hike, Shanavas said: "To bring down the prices of foods and non-food items in the local markets, we are also approaching new markets. We are going to import various herbs and leafs in large quantity notably coriander from Georgia in regular flights and a flight is expected to reach Qatar on Thursday."