Carriers “Profiteering” on Demurrage in flood-struck Pakistan
Due to the major floods across Pakistan, approximately 7,000 containers are stranded on the road between Karachi and Chaman on the Afghan border, south-east of Kandahar – with collecting detention and demurrage charges.
Many trucks were carrying empties being returned to the carriers, but as the free rental time on the boxes ended, detention and demurrage charges kicked in and the lines started to see the cash pouring into their coffers.
Estimates of up to US$14 million in detention and demurrage charges are thought to have been levied by major lines, mainly Yang Ming, OOCL and HMM, as well as other smaller carriers, since the middle of last month when the floods hit.
Traders have hit back at being charged anything from $130-$170 per day per container for “holding onto” boxes that could not be returned as Pakistan suffered some of the worst flooding in its history, with estimates of one-third of the country being under water.