Long queues of berth-seeking container vessels at the outer anchorage continue to plague the Chittagong port although the authorities took several steps in July to ease the congestion, including limiting time for loading and unloading.
The congestion appeared mid May when the daily average of waiting vessels stood at 12. This rose to 16 in June and was 15 the next two months. Yesterday there were 18.
Shipping agents say the average waiting time was 3-4 days last month and 4-6 the last few weeks.
Vessels such as Cala Pinguino, OEL Bangladesh and MCC Nanjing got berthing permission yesterday after waiting six days.
Ataul Karim, executive director of Oin IL, Cala Pinguino's local agent, said the vessel operator has to bear over $10,000 in losses every day for the wait.
Gearless vessels (without cranes) were allowed to stay at berth for 48 hours and geared vessels needing to load and unload up to 1,400 containers 60 hours.
Geared vessels loading and unloading a higher number of containers were allowed 72 hours. The queues following Eid prompted a 12 hour reduction for vessels that were getting 60 hours.
Shipping operators said they may incur losses as vessels were unable to take enough containers within the timeframe. Shipping agents put the blame on the inadequate number of container jetties, now 12.
Chittagong Port Authority Director (traffic) Golam Sarwar said they enforced the post-Eid timeframe temporarily and hoped that the situation would improve soon.