Karachi Port in Gridlock: Thousands of Containers Stranded

Karachi Port in Gridlock: Thousands of Containers Stranded

Karachi, June 9, 2024 — Khurram Ejaz, former president of the Karachi Customs Agents Association, has sharply criticized port authorities for their lack of preparation in clearing thousands of containers stuck at Karachi Port.

Ejaz’s pointed remarks come in the wake of the historic arrival of the world’s largest ship, an event overshadowed by significant administrative failures leading to a substantial backlog.

In a statement issued yesterday, Ejaz highlighted the severe consequences of the port’s inefficiencies. “The docking of such a massive ship was known well in advance, yet no effective measures were taken to ensure the timely processing of the cargo,” he said. “As a result, thousands of containers are now stuck, causing substantial financial strain on importers who are incurring hefty detention and demurrage charges.”

Ejaz’s comments reflect widespread frustration within the trade community, which is grappling with the repercussions of the port’s inability to handle the increased volume of cargo. “Had there been adequate preparations for the prompt clearance of these containers, the situation at Karachi Port would be vastly different. Over a week has passed, and yet, the containers remain unexamined,” he added.

The former president did not shy away from criticizing higher authorities, directing his dissatisfaction towards the Minister of Ports and Shipping. He emphasized that while the arrival of such a significant vessel is a notable achievement, it necessitates meticulous planning and stringent regulation to manage the increased volume efficiently.

Ejaz called for stricter regulatory measures to ensure the smooth functioning of port operations, stressing that the trade community and consumers should not bear the brunt of administrative oversights, especially during times of high inflation. “The trade community and consumers, already grappling with inflation, should not suffer because of these failures,” he remarked.

He urged the newly appointed Minister of Ports and Shipping to not only launch promising projects but also enforce stringent measures where necessary to prevent such disruptions in the future. “Promising projects are essential, but without proper enforcement and preparation, we will continue to face these avoidable crises,” he stated.

The call to action from Khurram Ejaz underscores a critical need for reform and better preparedness at Karachi Port, particularly as it positions itself to handle larger volumes of global trade. With the port’s efficiency in question, the focus now shifts to how quickly and effectively the authorities can resolve the current backlog and implement measures to prevent future occurrences.