Customs agents express concerns over delay in grounding of containers

KARACHI: The Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA) has expressed concerns over the delay in grounding of containers at Karachi International Container Terminal Ltd. (KICTL) and said it may result in choking of the terminal.

In a letter sent to KICTL management on Tuesday, the KCAA pointed out the issue regarding delay in grounding of containers at the terminal.

The KCAA has been informed by its members that they are facing unnecessary delays in clearance of their consignments within time from KICTL due to delay in grounding of containers marked for the examination.

It has been observed that since last two to three weeks backlog of the containers is increasing day by day and still there is a backlog of 8 to 10 days.

If the situation remains unresolved, there is no doubt that the terminal will be choked, due to this reason the trade will be affected very badly and will also bear heavy financial losses in shape of container detention and port demurrage charges, consequently the cost of doing business will increase.

Furthermore, in view of the forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha holidays the impact of container backlog will increase significantly.

It is pertinent to mention here that shortage of cargo handling equipments / machinery at KICTL is observed. While any new vessel is berthed all equipments / machinery are shifted towards for unloading of cargo from that vessel, thus the containers grounding process is delayed.

The KCAA suggested that in order to facilitate the trade the grounding of containers should be on first priority and thereafter the process of unloading the cargo from vessel be carried out after completion of grounding work.

Further, it is also observed that while the members are approaching to KICTL for deliveries of their consignments within the free days period but unfortunately, KICT staff informed that the container still remain on vessel so that they are unable to give the delivery, which is one the cause for delay and unnecessary demurrage being accumulated on the goods without fault of our members.

“In this context, we have come to know through our reliable members that Free Days period is being calculated by the KICTL from the date of vessel berth whereas the free days must be started when the container is unloaded from the vessel,” the KCAA said.

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