Firm increasing charges

Business

By CLARISSA MOI
TERMINAL operator International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) South Pacific will increase stevedoring and handling charges, says chief executive officer Robert Maxwell. Maxwell told The National that the increases were prescribed in the terminal operating agreement with PNG Ports Corporation Ltd – the first since 2018. The Farmers and Settlers Association had been raising concerns over the increase in fees and charges including wharfage and tonnage fees charged by PNG Ports.  The association was concerned that the cost would be passed down to farmers and consumers.  Maxwell, however, said the increase in stevedoring and handling charges had to be deferred from January to July. “The relief to the PNG market is due to our six-month postponement of the increase – Jan 1 to July 1,” he said. “We gave a two-month advance notice so that the market could prepare for the changes in July.” Maxwell explained that the regulated rates for stevedoring and handling were prescribed in the terminal operating agreement with PNG Ports when it was awarded a 25-year concessions to manage the international arms of the port facilities: Motukea International Terminal (MIT) outside Port Moresby and South Pacific International Container Terminal (Spict) in Lae.  He added that the PNG importer and exporter charges were increased by four per cent and two per cent in South Pacific International Container Terminal and Motukea International Terminal respectively. He noted that importers and exporters had received the announcement quite well and had been quiet.  Swire Shipping said, in a notice to its clients, that: “Working with the management of ICTSI South Pacific and PNG Ports Corporation, Swire Shipping is appreciative of the collaborative operational efforts to improve vessel berth and operation times, and that we are now in a position to remove the port congestion fee currently applied to import and export cargo with effect from July 1, 2021.”’

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