A strike by transporters, responsible for carrying goods within the cities, has now entered its tenth day on Wednesday. The strike has paralyzed the goods transportation system of the country and halted the operations at all the terminals of Karachi Port and Port Qasim. The ports are running out of space for new consignments because of 13,000 unclaimed cargo containers, whereas 5000 containers among them contain toxic materials, which are harmful for the environment.
Analysts are of the view that the strike could cause a total meltdown of Pakistan’s import and export system. Expressing the views on the situation, an exporter said that “goods in thousands of containers are in factories, as the capacity of warehouses has been exhausted.”
If the issue is not resolved soon and amicably, then it has the potential to cause irrevocable damage to the economy. Experts across the country are worried, as the strike has already caused losses of around PKR 48 billion and firms and investors are losing money with each passing day.
Reluctantly, exporters have announced that they are planning to shut down their industries, as they have already suffered losses of around PKR 214 billion. Considering the fact that Pakistan just entered the MSCI Emerging Market Index, it is important for the country to resolve this issue on priority.
Yesterday, All Pakistan Shipping Association (APSA) called an emergency meeting at its Karachi’s secretariat in order to discuss the threats and challenges being faced by terminal operators and its member shipping lines because of the strike. The meeting was chaired by APSA Chairman, Asim A Siddique, in which various representatives of all major Terminal Operators, Shipping Lines and Agents were present.
We have listed few issues that terminals are facing because of the transporters’ strike.
- Shipping lines are facing huge losses because ports are running out of space for new consignments.
- The carriers are forced to divert the shipments to other ports due to unavailability of space at the terminals.
- Vessel stay at berth is being delayed, increasing the port charges and vessel chartering cost.
While talking to the delegation, Governor Sindh Mohammad Zubair reasserted the fact that operations of Karachi Ports are badly affected because of the strike and the situation is negatively affecting the country’s economy. He also emphasized on the need to resolve the issue through dialogues and said that calling a strike is not a solution of the problem.
In any case, we’ll keep a track on the story to keep our readers updated. To keep yourself updated with the current insights and trends in Pakistan’s business ecosystem, like our Facebook’s page.