KARACHI: The world’s largest container ship, “MSC ANNA,” anchored at Karachi port, has become a significant challenge for importers. This 400-meter-long ship arrived with 19,000 containers, overwhelming the port’s capacity to handle such a large volume.

Due to insufficient arrangements at the port, thousands of containers remain stuck, threatening timely clearance. Despite a week having passed, the containers could not be grounded, jeopardizing their clearance within the stipulated time. Consequently, there are fears of heavy detention and demurrage charges for importers.

Khurram Ejaz, former president of the Karachi Customs Agents Association, criticized the port authorities for their lack of preparation. He stated, “The arrival of the world’s largest ship is a historic event, but the port administration failed to take necessary measures to ensure timely clearance of the containers.”

He added, “Without proper arrangements, thousands of containers are now stuck, and importers face significant financial losses due to detention and demurrage charges. The port administration must be held accountable for this oversight.”

Ejaz further commented on the broader issue, “Our misfortune in Pakistan is that we often act without considering the consequences. When it was known that such a large ship would dock at Karachi port, why were no prior arrangements made to handle the clearance of these containers?”

He questioned, “If proper preparations had been made to ensure the swift clearance of thousands of containers, what would the situation at Karachi port be today? Six days have passed, yet the containers remain ungrounded and unexamined. The lack of regulation in the terminal and shipping sector allows them to profit from such experiments, but who bears the responsibility for the current chaos?”

Ejaz also criticized the Minister of Ports and Shipping for the delay in clearance, noting that while inaugurating the arrival of such a ship is commendable, adequate planning and regulation are crucial. He emphasized the need for stricter measures to ensure smooth operations at the port to avoid burdening the trade community and consumers already facing inflation. “The new Minister of Ports and Shipping must not only initiate good projects but also enforce strict measures where necessary,” he concluded.