CUSTOMS TODAY REPORT
RIYADH: An official source at the King Abdul Aziz Port in Dammam has said that the rise in shipping fees at the port is related to the systems of operating companies in the port and their efforts to maintain their labor force, denying that the rise was triggered by the latest Ministry of Labor procedures.
“The Public Ports Corporation hasn’t changed the lists of contractors’ fees and unloading companies since 1997. The contractors and handling companies are demanding different wages in line with the new work conditions.”
Handling and shipping companies have to bear extra costs due to the scarcity of Saudi workers in the field. In addition, salary scales will have to be altered to guarantee labor retention.The port’s official said the rise in shipping fees for this year stands between 6 and 8 percent for all workers. This percentage varies according to the nature of the job and the worker’s specialization.He mentioned that there are undercover contractors on a basic salary of SAR 700 who ship and unload containers, while the basic salary of non-Saudi workers is between SAR 700 and SAR 1,200.
Fahad Al-Sudeiri, member of the National Committee for Customs Clearance at the Saudi Chamber, said that shipping and handling costs rose by 10 percent because of delays in the loading and unloading of goods. “The latest rise in wages came from shipping agents, in addition to an increase in the cost of imported goods, which will reflect on price increases locally,” said Al-Sudeiri.