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Carriers raise charges for containerised cargo

KARACHI (April 25 2003) : The goods transporters, operating between ports and factories, have raised transportation charges for containerised cargo.

The new rates for hauling a 20-foot container are up from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,500 from the Karachi Port to areas around West Wharf; from Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,600 for areas up to SITE and Rs 1,450 to Rs 1,800 for factories situated in Korangi and Sohrab Goth areas.

According to the new rate schedule, issued by the transporters association, the charges for transportation of a 20-foot container from Port Qasim to SITE area will be Rs 4,000 as against Rs 3,500 earlier and Rs 5,000 up to area around Hub Estate against the previous rate of Rs 4,800.

The association based its case for enhancing the transportation charges on the increase in prices of diesel, which has jumped from rupees eight per litre in 1996 when the existing rates were fixed, to Rs 25.14 per litre.

The new rates have been enforced with immediate effect.

The association also fixed the commission of Muqaddim, employing labourers for loading and unloading of cargo in containers. It will be Rs 200 for vehicle, carrying 40-foot container and Rs 100 for a 20-foot container, while Rs 50 will be charged for loose cargo loaded into a single truck.

The transportation charges for general cargo have also been raised from Rs 500 to Rs 700 for a single five-tonne truck for factories or godowns to the Karachi Port and from Rs 850 to Rs 1,200 for areas up to Malir and Airport.

The hauling charges from Port Qasim to the SITE area have been increased from Rs 1,400 to Rs 1, 700 per five-tonne truck.

The Karachi Customs Agents Group (KCAG) has rejected the new transportation charges, saying that the prices of POL had come down, hence there was no justification in increasing the goods transportation charges.

The Senior Vice-President of the Group, Qamar Alam, said on Thursday that the cost of exports and imports was already up due to fuel adjustment surcharge and war risk surcharge (WRS), levied by the shipping companies and airlines on shipments from Pakistan.

The impact of increased rates would ultimately be passed on to the consumers, who were already reeling under high rates of utilities and government taxes, he said.

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