JEDDAH: SHARIF M. TAHA | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published — Wednesday 24 April 2013
Last update 24 April 2013 6:57 am
Cargo services were disrupted at the Jeddah Islamic Port due to a technical fault in the electronic exchange system, informed sources said.
The port authorities did not comment on the issue or on its impact on cargo activity of the port.
Hani Al-Trabulsi, a cargo dealer at the port, said the system stopped working a few days back and the outgoing and transit cargo services were suspended with the exception of goods that had already been entered prior to the technical glitch.
A number of commercial ships have already left the port without being loaded with outgoing or transit goods. The owners of these goods incurred fines in the form of storage fees or delays in the export of goods, he said.
Fees for container transport services have increased considerably due to long waiting periods and container-pile up at the port.
Head of the Deputy Transport Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Said Al-Bassami, said there is a 50 percent increase in container transporters’ fee, which will negatively affect the transport activity at the port.
The fees vary from one transporter to another, depending on the nature of workload and deals signed with companies. Some contracts are based on the number of containers while others are operational on a long-term basis, he said.
Small-scale container transport firms at the port may quit the market due to a shortage of manpower and long delays in container handling.
Big transport firms with multiple contracts are still operational and are ready to meet their obligations, he added.