KARACHI, Dec 11: The 15 per cent cut in port charges has brought both Karachi and Qasim ports at par with other regional ports including Dubai and Colombo in terms of competitiveness.
The improvement in the capacity of ports is expected to attract more business and facilitate trading community of the country, said Port Qasim Chairman Vice-Admiral (retd) Mohammad Shafi at a ceremony held on Tuesday announcing night navigation facility for 310-metre LOA (length overall) vessels throughout the year at the port.
He said that PQA was acquiring a Chinese dredger which would reach by end of this month and the cost of the dredger would be recovered in three years because annual cost of dredging at the port came to around Rs1.5 billion.
He mentioned the rail track passing through Port Qasim where each cargo train carry around 80 containers at a time but there was demand for more cargo trains operating between upcountry and Karachi.
He mentioned Maersk Kolkata, which availed the facility of night navigation operation at the port.
Shafi said there was a time when the port had 10-metre draft which was gradually deepened to 13-metre and now it would be dredged to 14 metre by March next year.
He said the port had transformed into an efficient industrial port with large number of warehouses, container freight station and various industries.
Changazi Khan Niazi, Chief Executive Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), said that Port Qasim is ideally located and has the potential to expand to meet future challenges.
He disclosed the setting up of International Container Terminal at Lahore over 30 acres which will provide CSF facility and also set up depot and auction yard.