Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) has started a new semi-CFS operations service at Male’ Commercial Harbour to assist small traders facing delays in clearing their goods.
The service responds to the concerns of traders who often bundle their imports into a single container.
MPL’s CEO, Shahid Ali, shared that previously, delays in clearing even a single item led to substantial fees for the entire container. “When one item isn’t cleared, we charge for the whole container. This hits small businesses hard. The business community has been requesting such a service since 2019,” Shahid stated.
These delays also impact shipping lines, highlighting the need for a more efficient process. With the extra storage space, MPL aims to speed up cargo clearance, saving traders from costly container fees.
Tholhath Saeed, MPL’s General Manager, gave more details about the storage. “We currently have space for 550 cubic meters of goods, equivalent to around 16 containers,” he said. He emphasized the cost advantage: MPL’s storage fee is MVR 26 per cubic meter daily, compared to a container fee of USD 35 per day. “If goods stay uncleared for a couple of days, businesses could face charges of over USD 150, while within MPL’s facility, it’s just MVR 300,” Mr. Saeed added.
MPL plans to observe capacity and adaptability for two months. If needed, more space will be made available within the port.
Looking ahead, as the government develops the port at Gulhifalhu, similar services will be provided. Currently, around 187 cargo containers are processed daily at the MPL port.