Owners of private inland container depots (ICDs) have stuck to their decision to increase operational charges from April 1 though the shipping ministry has directed them to postpone the move.
Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA) President Nurul Qayyum Khan in a letter to the shipping secretary yesterday said the ICDS would not be able to run their activities unless the charges are implemented.
On February 28, the association issued a circular reviewing 12 types of tariffs, increasing them by 20 percent to 25 percent on an average against the backdrop of operational and investment cost escalation, the devaluation of the local currency and the increase in fuel prices, labour charges and equipment maintenance cost. The shipping ministry ordered the BICDA on March 25 to nullify the notice.
The last time the tariffs were reviewed was in April 2016.
The latest move faced strong objection from depot users, who say that, as per the ICD policy, tariffs need to be fixed by a committee of the shipping ministry comprising representatives of all stakeholders.
Due to the increase in the service charges, the users will have to foot an additional bill of more than Tk 100 crore annually. Garment exporters are the major users of the ICDs.
Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association's standing committee on port and shipping, says the BICDA can not unilaterally take such a decision.
Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Asso-ciation Director Khairul Alam Sujan called for talks among the stakeholders before implementing any new tariffs.
Khan called the ICD policy detrimental for the sector, saying the ministerial committee should not fix the tariff of a competitive private service sector.