Port of Chittagong said to suffer worst congestion in its history

2021-08-13 12:24
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THE Port of Chittagong is facing the worst situation in its history, with more than 40,000 TEU lying in yards for nearly two weeks, and more than two dozen vessels at the port area for over a week, reports London's Loadstar.
Pressure has grown since Eid-ul-Azha, and lockdown-linked closure of factories and warehouses across Bangladesh since July 20 has hampered delivery of boxes from the port yards.
However, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has now allowed all types of containers to be delivered off-docks, but the move has yet to bring any significant results.
Today, some 42,029 TEU are lying in port yards, while 56,760 TEU are at the off-dock close storage capacity.
The port authority is prioritising the berthing of Chittagong-Colombo vessels so they can help lower the number of export containers at the off-dock yards. As of yesterday, some 9,805 TEU of exports were waiting for feeders, against a usual 6,000 TEU.
But this priority berthing has resulted in long delays for Chittagong-Singapore, Chittagong-Port Klang and other routes, and some vessels have waited 10 days at the port's outer anchorage.
The Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA) have requested that the port authority follows a "first-come, first-served" policy in allocating berths for all container vessels calling at the port.
"Prioritising Colombo-bound vessels [as had an adverse effect in the berthing schedule of ships connecting Singapore and Malaysia transshipment point," said BSAA chairman Syed Mohammad Arif.
Bangladesh receives about 70 -75 per cent of its container imports and sends about 60 per cent of exports through these two ports, he said.
Mr Arif also noted that at present, the waiting time for Singapore and Malaysia-bound vessels had reached five days on average, and "it will certainly create a major bottleneck at those transshipment ports".

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