Strike suspends cargo handling at Karachi port

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KARACHI - Cargo handling at the country’s largest seaport has badly affected due to transporters’ strike at two container terminals, the Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) and the Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT).

The traffic was snarled up in the vicinity of the Karachi port. Traffic from MA Jinnah Bridge to Keamari Harbour was badly affected as the haulers kept their vehicles off the work on Thursday at around 8am.

The commuters in Keamari neighborhood found it hard to make their way to their destinations as a long queue of containers had caused a severe gridlock.
On the other hand, the handling of containerised cargo at the PICT and the KICT remained suspended throughout the day and had not resumed until the filing of this report.

According to online shipping intelligence report of the Karachi Port Trust, the operator of Karachi Port, while no ship was anchored presently at the PICT, two vessels, M/v Santa Rufina and M/v APL Brisbane, were present at the KICT.

A KPT spokesman denied that the strike had put any adverse impact on the shipping traffic or cargo handling at rest of the Karachi Port. But if the strike prolonged the entire port would be facing the negative consequences, most probably in the shape of port congestion. A spokesman of Goods Transporters Association (GTA) told Pakistan Today that they were protesting against fictitious charges being taken by the terminal operators on the loading and unloading of their vehicles at the terminals. Madad Khan, GTA General Secretary, claimed that the terminals were charging transporters Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000 at time of loading and unloading. Also, the haulers are protesting against the rampant kidnapping of their loaded and unloaded trailers in and outside the city. “We want the authorities concerned to abolish these unlawful charges and take effective measures to stop the kidnapping of our vehicles,” Khan demanded. The haulers seemed determined to prolong the strike to press their demands but the entire episode seems to have fallen on deaf ears as no government officials so far contacted them.


Courtesy: Pakistan Today

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