The transporters’ strike has now entered into its 10th consecutive day with operations coming to a halt at all terminals at Port Qasim and Karachi Port. This is due to the congested port containers that leave no space for new consignments to be offloaded.
On the other hand, exporters have announced their plan to shutdown their industries. They claim that during last 9 days they have faced some Rs.214 billion in losses.
An emergency meeting of All Pakistan Shipping Association (APSA) was held Tuesday at APSA secretariat Karachi to discuss the challenges being faced by its member shipping lines and terminal operators in the wake of prevailing strike called by the transporters fraternity. The meeting was chaired by Chairman of APSA Asim A Siddique, and attended by representatives of all major Shipping Lines, Agents and Terminal Operators.
Due to transporters’ strike, terminals are facing the flowing hardships:
- Huge losses are being incurred by the shipping lines due to severe congestion at terminals.
- The carriers are being forced to divert their vessel to other ports and withholding the containers at transshipment ports.
- Vessel stay at berth is being delayed, increasing the port charges and vessel chartering cost.
- Vessels sail away without Export Cargo and carriers are being deprived of Freight Charges due to loss of allocated space on the vessels.
- In view of the above losses, principles of all shipping lines are now planning to impose congestion charges on Pakistani origin/bound import/export cargo to offset these losses.
“All Pakistan Shipping Association expresses its great concerns over consequential losses and challenges being faced by the local trade and shipping fraternity in Pakistan and urge the Federal, Provincial Governments to take immediate measures and address the matter on urgent basis,” Asim A Siddique told ProPakistani.
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Shamim Firpo along with representative of export oriented industries addressed media at the Karachi Press club. Pakistan Hosiery Manufacture association, Ready Made Garments, Cloth Merchants, Rice Exporters and other association members were also present at the event.
They said that every day the country imports 17 billion worth of products and that the exports are at 6.3 billion. Due to non-availability of heavy transport, both imports and exports have come to a halt. Many industrialists are now close to bankruptcy.
“Sindh Government’s behavior is not serious. If the situation remains at a standstill, it will result in a great national tragedy,” Shamim Firpo said.
“Industries are shut down and 900 industrialists are ready to handover the keys to Government. We considering to approach the Supreme Court. “Javed Bilwani, Chairman Apparel Forum told.
Transporters are not ready to step down from their demand of entering into the city areas. Negotiations are being held with Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair and Provincial Minister Nasir Hussain Shah but unfortunately there has been no breakthrough yet.
The spokesperson of transporters Imdand Hussain told the ProPakistani that until alternative routes not given for heavy traffic, the strike is expected to continue.