Supply chain disruptions are easing slowly as political tensions are declining after the January 5 national elections, businesspeople said.
Fares of trucks and covered vans have also dropped substantially as normalcy has returned after prolonged political unrest across the country, they added.
“We are happy for the declining truck fares,” said Reaz Bin Mahmood, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
Truck and covered van fares on the Dhaka-Chittagong port route (one-way) that was more than Tk 1 lakh during unrest have now returned to the usual rate of Tk 15,000- Tk 20,000, he added.
“Goods-laden vehicles from India are also entering Bangladesh at an increasing rate,” said Md Alamgir Hossain, a clearing and forwarding agent at Bhomra land port in Satkhira.
Much to the delight of the C&F agents, around 250-300 vehicles are coming through the port a day, which almost came to a standstill recently for frequent strikes and blockades, he added.
Vehicles can now be hired for Tk 28,000-Tk 30,000 on the Bhomra-Dhaka route, which is almost half the rate during unrest, he said.
“Vegetable supplies to kitchen markets in the city also rose significantly as an increased number of trucks and pick-ups are coming to the markets,” said Lokman Hossain, general secretary of Karwan Bazar Kitchen Market Wholesalers' Association.
More trucks are entering the kitchen markets than before, especially from the remote northern and southern parts of the country that were almost disconnected from the capital for the prolonged blockades and shutdowns, he added.
Farmers now pay Tk 20,000- Tk 25,000 per truck to carry vegetables from the remote northern districts, such as Dinajpur, Nilphamari and Bogra, to the capital, which had gone up to Tk 80,000 in the last two months, he said.
Activities at the Moulvibazar wholesale market, a popular destination in Dhaka for essentials such as cooking oil, sugar, lentils, wheat and spices, are also gaining momentum.
“Our business had come to a halt in the last two months as we could not bring goods in from the port or make deliveries due to a lack of transport,” said Abdur Razzaque, president of Moulvibazar Wholesale Market Association.
“But it will take another two weeks for usual trade to return to complete normalcy at Moulvibazar.” The market houses around 10,000 small stores that typically sell commodities worth Tk 500 crore a day.
Around 60,000 goods-laden trucks, covered vans and pickups set out from different parts of the country last night, said Rustam Ali, general secretary of Bangladesh Truck and Covered Van Owners' Association.