SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) — South Korea said Wednesday it plans to offer more scheduled marine shipping services heading to the Americas and Europe through June, as local exporters have been facing burdens from a hike in freight costs amid the recovery of global trade from the new coronavirus pandemic.
Under the plan, the country will offer a total of six shipping schedules to the Americas with a total capacity of 32,800 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) this month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
South Korea will also arrange six shipping services to Europe through the end of June.
The country said it is also working with local airliners to arrange chartered flights for exporters within this month.
South Korea, which earlier allocated 7 billion won (US$6.23 million) to supporting shipping costs for small and medium-sized businesses, said the budget will be expanded to 12.1 billion won.
Around 420 exporters are expected to receive subsidies from the government within the first half of 2021, according to the ministry.
To cope with supply shortages in containers, South Korea plans to lease out 43,000 containers by the end of July, along with 17,000 additional units over the second half.
In the January-March period, the total volume of export container cargoes processed in South Korea came to 1.6 million TEUs, up 3.2 percent on-year.
Those to the Americas advanced 10.4 percent over the period to reach 261,000 TEUs, and those to Europe edged up 3.7 percent to 163,000 TEUs, according to the ministry data.