Qatar-based trailer and truck operators are complaining of tough times on account of alleged illegal trips carried out within the country by foreign vehicles.
"The drivers of these trailers and trucks, entering Qatar on the basis of visas issued for periods ranging from seven to 30 days, are flouting the rules by misusing their vehicles without the knowledge of their owners," a local transporter told Gulf Times.
The foreign trailers are apparently cornering local trips, by offering rates much lower than the prevailing market rates. While a local operator charges approximately QR750 for a trip from the Industrial Area to Al Khor, many of the trailers and trucks from abroad can be hired for QR500-550, it is learnt. Because diesel is cheaper in some of the neighbouring Gulf States, the trips are still profitable for the vehicles coming from those countries. "They carry adequate diesel for their local operations in their supplementary tank(s)," the local operator said.
"These drivers would inform the vehicle owners that they were waiting for return trips with goods and will get their visas extended, to a maximum of 30 days," said another local transporter.
Except for such places as Hamad Port and Doha Port, these illegal operators have no qualms in collecting goods.
While explaining their predicament, a local operator having more than 20 trailers and trucks said the local market is already reeling under severe competition because of the excess supply of transportation vehicles.
"Most of us have taken huge bank loans and with the outsiders plying around, we are finding it difficult not only to operate but also to repay our loans,' said an operator.
Inquiries also found a large number of those trucks arriving from outside park in the sprawling Barwa al Baraha Truck park, and in areas in and around Street 24. Parking rates are also relatively cheaper at the truck park, it is found.
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