Pakistan's Qasim cuts charges

Pakistan's Qasim cuts charges

Pakistan's Port Qasim has approved cuts in a range of charges intended to attract more business and benefit users.

The Ministry of Communications is expected to issue a notification shortly accepting the revised charges.

Shipping lines will see reductions in port dues, towages charges, berthing fees, and extra pilotage charges. While port dues have been cut by 20 percent to 32 cents per gross registered ton, towage charges have been reduced by $5 to $485 per tug per hour. The berthing fee will be charged on a six-hourly basis after the first day of stay, and extra pilotage charges between sunset and sunrise and on holidays have been dropped.

Ocean-going vessels under the Pakistan flag will also get discounts on certain charges as part of a government plan to boost the maritime sector.

Qasim also increased free storage for export shipments to 10 days from two days; withdrawal of a one-time holding charge on import cargo, and a 25-percent reduction in charges in the terminal storage area.

Throughput at Qasim, Pakistan's second major port after Karachi, rose 16 percent to 16 million metric tons in the fiscal year ended June 30, while container throughput increased by 68 percent. Ship calls rose to 679 from 566 during the period.