11 Aug FIND A FIX TO THE ISSUE AFFECTING HAULAGE CONTRACTORS, JACKSON URGES GOVERNMENT
Kingston, Jamaica, August 10, 2017: The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is calling on Government to treat the stand-off between haulage contractors and port operators expeditiously and effectively towards a workable solution given the importance of the operations to the economy.
The current stand-off at the island’s port could have dire effect on sectors of the country’s economy, if goods coming into the country continue to face major hold-ups at the point of entry.
Haulage contractors have withdrawn their service because of much extended wait to collect incoming goods. The PNP understands that there was an agreement between the contractors and port operators that the turnaround time per load would be set at 45 minutes, however, this has been averaging between 2- 3 hours per load over recent months.
This delay has also attracted additional demurrage charges from shipping companies to importers on account of the wait. This cannot be considered fair or reasonable.
The PNP says while on the face of it, this is a private matter, the long term impact on the economy can be debilitating, as delayed goods and transportation time wasted waiting at the port not only affect earning potential but threatens employment and production at various levels.
“Over the past six months there have been ongoing meetings to resolve the dispute between haulage contractors and operators at the port.
This delay impacts the earnings of both drivers and contractors as well as affects the delivery of cargo to businesses and communities island-wide.” says PNP parliamentarian Fitz Jackson.
“Critical products do not get to communities in reasonable time and unnecessary and extensive delays have a negative impact on business operators and the economy at large.”
Contractors say the port operators’ inadequate and untimely deployment of straddle carriers and other critical equipment have placed them in an unsustainable situation.