Around 3,000 containers are stuck at Karachi International Containers Terminal (KICT), following workers'' two-day strike (Tuesday & Wednesday), putting excessive financial burden of detention charges on the trade. According to details, private workers at KICT observed two-day strike for the acceptance of their demands that halted the clearance of containers on Tuesday & Wednesday, piling up its backlog to around 3000 containers as the terminal has a capacity to handle 1500 to 2000 containers per day.
When contacted, Arshad Jamal, vice president, FPCCI, confirmed that private workers at KICT observed two-day strike for the acceptance of their demands. Resultantly, all inward and outward movement of cargos remained standstill for two days, putting excessive financial burden on account of detention charges on the trade.
He said that not only import consignments but exports had also been affected during strike as no export container was loaded on the vessel. He also feared that exports orders may be annulled, due to delayed delivery of consignments. Replying to a question, he said that the issue has been raised with the KICT management and they had now agreed to waive its demurrages charges on the containers stuck at terminal during strike.
Furthermore, Arshad answered that KICT had emailed the shipping companies, asking to give up detention charges on the containers, which were not cleared during two-day strike but the shipping companies were reluctant to surrender its detention charges, creating serious financial difficulties for the trade.
He said that the shipping companies collected detention charges to US$90 per containers and the accumulated detention charges against around 3,000 containers were US$ 2,70,000 and urged the shipping companies to waive the same in order to facilitate the trade at maximum.
Arshad said that shipping companies hired terminals for containers'' handling at port and if they did not waive detention charges then the same should be paid by the KICT. He also requested the KICT and shipping companies to allow relief in demurrages and detention charges till the clearance of containers backlog, which may take three more working days.