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Queue of ships at Ctg port grows over long vacation

The number of ships waiting at the Chattogram port has been increasing as the importers have not been unloading their goods during the eight-day-long holidays on the occasion of May Day and Eid-ul-Fitr.

Sources at the Chattogram port said importers have stopped unloading goods from ships as the factories were closed during the vacation.

Chattogram Port Authority Secretary Omor Faruk said the number of ships at the outer harbour of the port has increased, but the situation will not last long. As soon as the factories open, the traders will take delivery of the goods.

If the importers cooperate by unloading the goods, no adverse situation will arise, he added.

Port and shipping agency officials said the waiting time for the ships to dock at the jetty increases if there is congestion at the port. As a result, the time to unload the goods also increases. This is not a big problem right now, but if the congestion does not subside quickly, the delay in unloading goods will affect the industrial sector.

During the vacation, the port was closed for eight hours only on the Eid day while at other times the activities of the port were normal. But several lakh workers in 1,046 small and big factories in Chattogram were on a vacation, so the factory owners did not need to unload their imported goods for production.

Industry insiders said even if the factories open on Saturday, most of the factory owners will start unloading the goods from the ships on Sunday.

According to sources at the Chattogram port, one or two ships reach the Chattogram port from different parts of the world every day. Currently, 20 ships are waiting to be unloaded at the port and the number will increase further by Saturday.

Regarding the matter, Syed Nazrul Islam, first vice-president of BGMEA, said, “Our workers keep our factories as well as the country’s economy afloat by working away from their families all year round. So, they should be given an opportunity to spend time with their families.”

“As soon as the factories open on Saturday, we will need imported raw materials. So, we will need to unload the products quickly. Hopefully, no complications will arise and the congestion will reduce in two weeks,” he added.

Khairul Alam Sujan, director of the Shipping Agents Association, said, “The number of ships in the outer harbour increases every year during the Eid holidays due to the closure of factories.

“Hopefully, the situation will return to normal within two weeks if the importers make arrangements for taking quick deliveries,” he said.

When trading activities increased after the Covid-19 pandemic subsided, the major ports around the world suffered from congestion, but the Chattogram port was an exception. Despite the increase in import and export of goods, the port was free from congestion due to various measures taken by the authorities concerned.

According to the data released by Windward Maritime Consultancy on 19 April, 1,862 container ships – 20% of the world’s total container vessels – were waiting at ports across the world. Currently, the China ports are most congested.

Chattogram and Mongla are the two sea ports through which most goods are imported in and exported from the country. Of this, 98% of the containers are transported through the Chattogram port.
Source: The Business Standard

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