Shipping agents defend charges after KPT Chairman’s critique

Uniform charges cannot be implemented due to concerns about cartelisation: PSAA

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association (PSAA) has strongly responded to recent allegations of charging exorbitant rates traders by Chairman Karachi Port Trust (KPT).

Expressing surprise at the one-sided press coverage, of their meeting with the KPT on January 11th, PSAA emphasized that the media’s coverage seemed to rely on a Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (KCCI) press release, neglecting input from other stakeholders and violating journalistic norms.

PSAA stated that KPT, as a landlord port, is not a regulator; thus, shipping lines and agents are not obligated to report to or be regulated by KPT, as demanded by 

As per PSAA, the shipping sector in Pakistan adheres to various regulations, reporting to entities such as the State Bank of Pakistan, Tax Authorities, and Pakistan Customs.

Responding to the allegations, the PSAA clarified that outward remittances are under the State Bank of Pakistan’s authorization. 

The PSAA rejected KCCI’s demand for uniform charges, citing potential cartelisation concerns and emphasizing adherence to Competition Commission of Pakistan’s laws.

PSAA expressed concerns that the allegations by KCCI, supported by KPT, could negatively impact foreign shipping lines’ interest in Pakistan, potentially jeopardizing trade and tarnishing the country’s business-friendly reputation.

This statement of PSAA follows Chairman KPT’s recent critique of shipping companies for allegedly overcharging traders. The KPT Chairman, in that meeting, demanded details justifying charges from shipping companies within a 10-day timeframe.

During the meeting, KCCI President Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh voiced concerns, proposing changes to “free days” and advocating for exemptions on Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays. 

Sheikh urged transparency in charges, uniform fees through stakeholder consultations, and addressed issues of reducing shipping charges, lowering security deposits, and expediting container security deposit refunds.

According to the statement earlier issued by KPT, representatives of all the shipping companies failed to defend their position during their meeting with KPT at the KPT office.

Sheikh proposed establishing an autonomous regulatory body to monitor shipping companies. That meeting involved key representatives from KCCI, KPT, Customs, shipping associations, and terminal operators, highlighting the urgency and complexity of the discussed issues.

Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]



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