Import containers pile up at Ctg port
Import load containers have piled up at the Chattogram port as importers did not secure their consignments due to the Eid holidays when factories were closed and vehicular movement was thin.
Therefore, both the port authorities and users fear that congestion might create inside the port yards if the daily delivery of goods does not return to the pre-festival level within a few days since a good number of vessels with inbound containers are already waiting at the sea.
Shipping agents say if the situation does not improve soon, it may slow down the unloading of containers from the vessels.
In a bid to avert any acute container congestion, the Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) yesterday wrote to importers and trade bodies, urging them to expedite obtaining goods.
The letters were sent to the leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, the Chittagong Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association, and the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
The CPA said if the delivery did not pick up immediately, there would be congestion inside the port yards, which will hamper the operational activities of the country's premier seaport, which handles more than 90 per cent of Bangladesh's seaborne trade.
The release of import containers began slowing a few days before Eid day, which was celebrated on Tuesday.
A total of 5,156 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of import containers were handed over to importers on April 28.
On April 29, the delivery of goods dropped to 3,305 TEUs. It was 2,972 TEUs on April 30, 1,068 TEUs on May 1 and 227 TEUs on May 2.
Not a single container was released from the port on Eid day.
The port delivered 705 TEUs of containers on May 4, some 1,092 TEUs on May 5, and 1,512 TEUs on May 6. A total of 2,591 TEUs were released in the 24 hours to 8:00am yesterday.
Because of the poor release of goods from the port, containers are piling up inside the yards.
Port data showed 36,497 TEUs of import load containers were lying at the port on May 1 and it rose to 43,997 TEUs yesterday morning.
Readymade garment factories are the major users of the port as they bring in raw materials and ship finished apparel items.
BGMEA First Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam admitted that they did not receive the deliveries in the last few days as factories remained shut for seven to eight days owing to Eid.
The commercial section of factories was also closed and C&F agent firms went on Eid vacation.
"Daily delivery has started improving since Saturday. As factories are reopening, the delivery will accelerate soon," Islam said.