Tuesday October 19, 2021

Govt urged to form shipping rates advisory board

September 28, 2021

KARACHI: Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has called on the government to collaborate with stakeholders to safeguard shippers and freight-forwarders by forming a shipping rates advisory board, a statement said on Monday.

“We propose to Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Commerce and Customs to work together with Pakistan Shippers’ Council of FPCCI to help protect the shippers and freight forwarders of the country from historically and unprecedentedly high shipping and freight charges; coupled with unavailability of shipping containers and container ships,” said Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo, President FPCCI in a statement.

He was speaking at a high-profile and well-attended meeting of Pakistan Shippers Council (PSC) and Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA) at FPCCI aimed at finding solutions to multiplied shipping and freight charges. During the meeting it was proposed that a Shipping Rates Advisory Board (SRAB) should be formed, which should be powerful and include all stakeholders.

Maggo extended his full support to PSC and PIFFA from the platform of FPCCI and expressed his optimism that FPCCI’s voice would be heard by all relevant ministries and departments. “The current situation is the result of extremely challenging times for shipping and logistics over the past two years due to Covid-19 and lack of adequate government support mechanism,” he said.

Rasheed Janmohammed, Chairman Pakistan Shippers’ Council (PSC) of FPCCI, said once the Container Release Order was issued by any shipping line, they should not be able to cancel it; and, “if they do, they should also bear the damages to the shippers”.

“Shipping lines are charging unfair exchange rates and the State Bank of Pakistan should effectively regulate them and exchange rates should be fixed on the basis of Export General Manifest,” said PSC chairman.

Janmohammed also expressed his concerns over delayed clearance of containers from ports and noted that Customs Rules of Clearance that set a 30-day limit were also not implemented.