Shehbaz Sharif urges immediate resolution to Pakistan's shipping crisis

PM laments country's annual payment of $5b in freight charges despite having insufficient vessels at its disposal

News Desk July 09, 2024

During a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif highlighted Pakistan's annual payment of $5 billion in freight charges for imports and exports, despite having insufficient vessels at its disposal.

"We annually pay $5 billion in freight charges for importing and exporting goods through maritime vessels, and yet we have only 12 ships at the disposal of our national entity, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC), with annual salaries totaling Rs5 billion," he said.

PM Shehbaz pointed out that countries like Bangladesh possess hundreds of ships, which not only facilitate imports and exports but also save on freight charges. In contrast, Pakistan faces a dire situation with a nominal fleet, which he emphasised as a significant setback.

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"This is our misfortune—a looming crisis that demands immediate attention," remarked the prime minister, stressing the urgency of resolving this issue.

He underscored the necessity for swift action to address Pakistan's maritime deficiencies, calling upon relevant authorities to formulate effective strategies to enhance the country's shipping capabilities.

The prime minister's remarks come amidst growing concerns over Pakistan's limited maritime resources and escalating freight expenditures, signaling a pressing need for remedial measures to bolster the nation's shipping infrastructure and economic competitiveness.


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