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LAHORE: Shipping forwarders as well as companies have increased their charges exorbitantly, adding insult to the injury of importers in a situation when they are facing problems in retirement of Letter of Credit (LC) documents, said sources.

They said the forwarders have jacked up their charges to Rs 1,500 against delivery order from Rs 7,000 earlier. Similarly, they added, the shipping companies were charging around $ 80 per day as demurrage against stuck up shipments at Karachi Port.

The sources in clearing agents as well as importers community have further pointed out that most of the forward agents had left Pakistan during the tenure of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s federal minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi. Leading companies dealing in forwarding business had shifted their businesses to India, they added.

One clearing agent shared an announcement from Kuehne + Nagel International AG, which is a global transport and logistics company based in Switzerland, stating that the delivery order charges would be Rs 12,500 from February 2023. He said a similar move is imminent on the part of other companies like DHL and FedEx.

Meanwhile, sources in importers have pointed out that exorbitant delivery chargers and demurrages are pushing their costs up and no one is there to take it up with them. Also, they added, the respective sectoral associations are not taking up the issue with the government for an early settlement. It may be noted that both delivery charges and demurrages are charged in US dollar, which has become a scarce commodity in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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