Container Handling: Ranking of Ctg port 5-notch up
The Chittagong Port has advanced five steps in terms of annual throughput in 2016, becoming the 71st busiest among the top 100 container ports, according to the Lloyd's List, the world's oldest journal on port and shipping.
The 2017 edition of the Lloyd's List's One Hundred Container Ports was published on Monday based mainly on the total throughput of containers in 2016.
The country's premier port handled 23,46,909 TEUs (twenty equivalent units) of containers in 2016, up from 20,24,207 TEUs in 2015, posting 15.9 percent annual growth in container handling.
Such growth helped the port advance five steps from its previous year's 76th position. Earlier in 2015, it was ranked 87th on the same list of ports.
Users of the port hold increased foreign trade in recent years responsible for such growth in transport of containers.
However, they believe the port still lags behind in terms of improvement in providing services as the required infrastructural development could not be achieved considering such growth in container transport.
Chinese port Shanghai with throughput of 37.13 million TEUs in 2016 having 1.6 percent year on year growth clinched the top rank in this year's chart.
According to the Lloyd's List, global container ports' growth maintains moderate incline while China remains the chief driver.
As many as 20 Chinese ports are on the chart, which also has three Indian ports -- Jawaharlal Nehru Port on 33rd position, Mundra on 45th and Chennai on 93rd.
The Chittagong Port is six steps ahead of Pakistan's Port of Karachi which secured 77th.
The users urge that the port's capacity and efficiency need to be enhanced considering such growth. Otherwise, the country's economy would be hampered, they warn.
The port handles 98 percent of the total container throughput in the country with the Mongla Port operating the rest.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Mahbubul Alam said the port had double-digit growth in container handling in last few years because of the country's increased export and import trade.
Ironically, the port has not been developed much in terms of infrastructures as no new jetty could be constructed in last 10 years, although container throughput has doubled.
The CCCI president underscores the need for immediate steps to construct new terminals and yards for creating more space as well as purchasing more container-handling equipment to meet the growing demand.
Referring to ongoing vessel and container congestion at the port, Alam said the situation would worsen further if the government did not take the steps immediately.
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Member (admin and planning) Md Zafar Alam said they were trying hard to improve the port's performance with the given capacity.
Besides such growth last year, the port handled the record highest 2.3 lakh TEUs containers last month, he added.
He said they got approval for purchasing 55 pieces of equipment last year and have already signed contracts for 80 percent of the equipment. Moreover, three new rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) have already been included and three more to come by next month.
Mentioning a number of projects, he said they were going to start construction of Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) and its foundation stone would be laid on September 8.
The PCT is set to be completed by 2019, Laldia Multi Purpose Terminal by 2020 and the first phase of Bay Terminal by 2021, he added.