Recently, a total of 19 private inland container depots (ICDs) raised container handling charge of imported goods by 35%, handling of empty containers by 24%, and export package charges and VGM charges by 25%.
ICDs site the recent fuel price hike as the main reason behind this raise. As per Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association (BICDA), they increased the prices after a meeting with their members, along with representatives from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (Baffa).
Although BICDA hiked container handling fees for imported products by 35% in its diesel-only service.
In contrast, carrying and lift on/off charges for diesel-powered facilities between bare container handlers, were augmented by 24%.
As most of the export products are from the textile and garment industry, the recent meeting also included leaders of the BGMEA, after which the prices were fixed after an agreement.
Although textile and apparel and the related sub-sector leaders threw caution in the wind as the recent global business trend is on the downside. A BGMEA leader opined that already a lot of factories are facing difficulty to pay their workers’ salaries without bank loans and some prominent companies were working factories at half of their capacity due to shorter gas pressure and electricity supply.
At the same time, some major buyers are also canceling orders, he added.
While some industry leaders expressed that the raised charges by the tariff committee were dishonest, adding that they were frequently charged additional although the law was to collect the charge from the buyer. Loopholes in many related laws were being manipulated to pass the cost on to the producers, which was not suitable for the business.