The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has cut down the proposed tariff for using private container depots by 2.0 percentage points to 10 per cent.
The fresh tariff will take effect from October 01.
At a meeting convened on Sunday, it fixed 10 per cent tariff for the services provided by 18 privately-owned depots that handle both export and import.
Mohammad Omar Faruk, a CPA spokesperson, disclosed the latest development to the FE over phone.
CPA sat with all the stakeholders at its office in Chattogram on the enhancement of charges by the inland container depots.
Rear Admiral Zulfiqur Aziz, chairman of CPA, presided over the meeting to conclude a debate over the announcement of a tariff hike by the private depots.
Representatives from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), freight forwarders, shipping firms and trade bodies attended the meeting.
After the meeting, the depot operators issued a circular, asking its members to charge 10 per cent tariff from October 01 instead of September 16.
Earlier, Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association, a group of 18 off-docks, raised charges by 12 per cent across the board with effect from September 16.
A meeting source said all the depot users at the meeting protested the enhancement and argued that the hike might be at best 2.0 to 3.0 per cent.
Later in the day, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, a platform of local agents of international shipping firms, organised a meeting on CPA's latest decision on depot charges.
"We all met at our office in Chattogram and agreed to inform our clients of the CPA decision," Sahed Sarwar, deputy managing director of Singapore-based Feedertech.
"If the clients [BGMEA members and importers] agree to pay, we'll also comply with it," he told the FE.
Any hike in charges will ultimately to be paid by the clients, exporters and importers.
If exporters pay, their profitability or competitiveness shrinks. But in case of importers, they realise it from the end-consumers.
The capital-intensive depots have been in operation for nearly three decades in Chattogram.
They handle cent per cent of ready-made garment shipments and some 39 importables equivalent to 22 per cent of the country's total overseas procurement.
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