CHITTAGONG, Jan 30: Shipping Minister Akbar Hossain inaugurated operation of four new gantry cranes procured at a cost of Taka 1.50 billion in handling the containers at Chittagong Port (CP) Monday in the face of opposition from the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA).
Shippers will now have to bear an additional cost of Tk 300 million annually after the authorities imposed higher tariff with the introduction of the gantry cranes.
The BSAA boycotted the inaugural function and convened a press conference where they strongly opposed the move of enhancing the existing rate of tariff for handling the containers through gantry cranes at this stage.
The BSAA said the hike in tariff is unjustified since the existing logistic support and infrastructural facilities at the container yard have not been upgraded.
They said if the turn-around period of vessels and chartering cost are reduced, the excess tariff may be realised.
Meanwhile, the BSAA has sent a letter to the Prime Minister seeking her decision on refixing the tariff in connection with handling containers through the newly procured gantry cranes.