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Charges up by 15 percent

Charges up by 15 percent
Foreign Shipping Lines have decided to raise the container handling charges by 15 percent with effect from next month.

Foreign Shipping Lines have decided to raise the container handling charges by 15 percent with effect from next month.

Foreign Shipping Lines have decided to raise the container handling charges by 15 percent with effect from next month, shipping sources told. Global transportation company, APL has apprised of its decision to all the stakeholders regarding the increase in handling charges of 20 feet container to Rs 7550, up by Rs 1000 and on 40 feet container by Rs 1500 to Rs 11,350, sources said. An official of Karachi Port Terminal Operator, on the condition of anonymity, said that the shipping lines cannot increase the charges. The relevant port authorities only can increase the handling charges. ?This is a condemnable step by the shipping lines,? he said. ?We are mulling over cutting down the handling charges in the backdrop of global slowdown,? he further informed.

Nasir Mehmood, chairman, sub-committee of port and shipping at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that there are so many hurdles in the way of maritime trading in our country. He said that shipping agents issued a notification about this increment in container handling charges on Thursday that has added the cost of doing business.

Nasir said that the ports terminal should have increased these charges but shipping. ?A trader or consignee has to pay average Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 on 20 feet container just in the wake of these charges to the shipping company,? he said.

The ports tariff in our country are the highest in the region, similarly, container terminals of the country are much costlier than others in the region and are burden on trade as they enhance the cost of their end-product, he lamented.

?I have written a letter to the chief collector of customs to apprise him about this situation and he has called a meeting with us Saturday in this regard,? Nasir said.

He said that on the chamber platform we attended many meeting called by the customs and different government"s department whereas certain decision were taken and minutes were recorded but no progress has so far been made to cope with the problems faced by importers and exporters.

He said that when consignees or traders return their containers and ask to refund their security deposits, shipping lines/agents take at least one month for refunding.

Freight rates for containers shipped from Asia to Europe have fallen to zero for the first time since records began, underscoring the dramatic collapse in trade since the world economy buckled in October.

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) which measures freight rates for bulk commodities such as iron ore and grains crashed several months ago, falling 96 percent. The BDI ? though a useful early-warning index ? is highly volatile and exaggerates apparent ups and downs in trade. However, the latest phase of the shipping crisis is different. It has spread to core trade of finished industrial goods, the lifeblood of the world economy.


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