Service charge

Rising fuel prices: now ICDs increase service charges

Private Inland Container Depots (ICDs) have increased charges for one of two services requiring the use of diesel due to the Aug. 5 fuel price hike.

The government has raised fuel prices by up to 51.7%, the highest in the country’s history. The price of each liter of diesel has gone from 114 Tk to 80 Tk.

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In a notice issued yesterday, the Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (Bicda) said the tariff for a service involving the handling of loaded import containers had been increased by around 34% with immediate effect.

Overall, fees for five types of services requiring the use of diesel, such as vehicle and equipment operations, need to be adjusted with rising fuel prices, said the general secretary of Bicda, Md. Ruhul Amin Sikder, at the Daily Star.

Bicda members are still discussing the lifting of four other loads, including those for export container handling, transportation, lifting and gross weight verification.

According to the circular of Bicda, the fee for the import handling service involving a 20ft container has been increased from Tk 9,754 to 13,080 Tk while for a 40ft container from Tk 11,255 to 15,107 Tk .

The service includes transporting a container with imports from the Chattogram port yard to a depot and from the depot yard to a delivery yard using forklifts and loading the goods from the containers onto the consignee’s truck.

Importers and exporters will have to bear the rising costs, said Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mahbubul Alam.

A rise in fuel prices naturally impacts every step of the supply chain, said Syed Nazrul Islam, senior vice president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

But Bicda should have talked to stakeholders first to make the increase sound rational, he said.

Bicda’s general secretary, Sikder, said that although diesel is now 42.5% more expensive, they have only increased import processing fees by 34% after rational analysis.

Sources said the ICD owners intended to increase the other four charges by 42%.

In this regard, Sikder said it will analyze the overall cost improvement before making a decision.

These charges only apply to containers loaded with imports and exports that are handled at private ICDs, called off-docks, instead of at the port.

Currently, nearly 90% of exports are loaded into containers at the 19 private ICDs located in and around the port city before being shipped through the Port of Chattogram.

On the other hand, 21 percent of the containers loaded with imports are sent from the port to these DCIs from where the goods are taken out and delivered to the receivers.

Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association vice-president Khairul Alam Sujan said they would soon sit down with Bicda executives to make sure the increases were rational.