FPCCI strongly demanded that KGTL rationalise their container terminal charges

Mr. Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, has apprised that the business, industry and trade community is in a state of shock and disbelief at the three-fold increase in container terminal charges since Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited (KGTL) has taken over the management of container terminal at Karachi Port’s East Wharf. Previously, charges were PKR. One hundred fifty per metric ton has been raised to PKR. 480 per metric ton, he added. He strongly demanded that KGTL rationalise their rates immediately, and any future raise should be announced 2 – 3 months in advance. Additionally, they should not operate in a vacuum in a consultation-less manner.

It is pertinent not that Mr. Khurram Aziz Khan, CEO of Karachi Gateway Terminal Limited (KGTL), visited FPCCI Head Office in Karachi to interact and get feedback of the business community over their services and charges at Karachi Port.

Mr Saquib Fayyaz Magoon stressed that shipping lines and container terminals need to be brought under a strong and effective regulatory authority to end the exploitation of importers and exporters at their hands. Trade is the backbone of any economy, and he added that traders cannot be left at the mercy of container terminals.

Mr. Asif Sakhi, VP FPCCI, categorically maintained that FPCCI is keeping all options and forums at its disposal as the apex body to resolve the issues; and, more than willing to facilitate the talks between KGTL & the business community.

Mr. Asif Sakhi added that the LO-LO (Lift On – Lift Off) charges underscore the need for a regulatory framework. Currently, these charges are levied by terminal operators and are often not included in the overall freight charges – which ideally should cover all expenses from container yard to container yard (CY to CY). He added that this leads to increased costs and a lack of clarity for traders.

Mr. Asif Inam, VP FPCCI, maintained that container terminals should have traffic control, security and first-aid services 24 / 7; and, the traders must be treated with respect. Additionally, there should be transparency in the KGTL contract and the mechanism to set their charges.

Mr. Zaki Aijaz, VP FPCCI, highlighted that KGTL’s high-handed approach is affecting the traders across the country as Karachi Port is the country’s principal port of shipping operations. He proposed that KGTL focus on volume rather than squeezing its clients through exorbitant rates.

Mr Khurram Aziz Khan, CEO of KGTL, offered to formulate a high-profile committee with FPCCI’s nominees to look into grievances, complaints, issues and feedback of the traders from the apex platform. FPCCI is the right place to engage with the trading community

Mr Khurram Aziz Khan elaborated on KGTL’s expansion plans for the infrastructure development of their container terminal. We will spend $75 million in the next two years alone and another $100 in the time span of 5 years from now to bring world-class, cutting-edge and efficient infrastructure, machinery and technologies to Karachi Port, he added.

Mr Khurram Aziz Khan stated that KGTL had signed its agreement with KPT, which comes under the Ministry of Maritime Affairs. Therefore, KGTL comes under the legal jurisdiction of Pakistan.

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