KPT traffic grinds to a halt after pilots’ strike

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The ship traffic at Karachi Port has come to a complete halt owing to a strike called by Karachi Port Trust’s pilots protesting a “faulty” pilot boat that they claim was not seaworthy during the monsoon season.
The pilots are said to have called the strike after their weeks-long standoff with the KPT management over the controversial boat, named Dynamic 7, intensified and negotiations hit a deadlock on Tuesday.
The strike begun on 12pm on Tuesday and continued until the filling of this report. Dozens of vessels have been left stuck in and outside the country’s largest seaport for the want of pilots.
The KPT’s shipping intelligence report shows that the strike would in total impact the movement of at least 45 vessels, including oil tankers, container ships and general cargo ships in terms of their berthing and sailing time.
The KPT report said some 12 vessels were anchored at the east and west wharves of Karachi Port by 0700 hours and were loading and unloading various imported and exportable cargo.
It said while nine vessels were awaiting berthing at the outer anchorage, there were 24 others that were scheduled to arrive during the next 14 days.