Import-laden containers are piling up at Chattogram port mainly due to slow delivery as operations of factories and vehicular movement are yet to return to normalcy following the Eid vacation.
This may lead to container congestion in the coming days as a good number of vessels carrying imports are already waiting in the sea to unload containers, port users say.
Both the delivery of import containers directly from the port and the transport of a good portion of import containers from the port to private off-dock facilities have slowed since the day before Eid day.
Around 3,000 to 4,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of import containers are currently being received at the jetties from the vessels every day, whereas 1,000 to 1,200 TEUs are being delivered.
If the situation does not improve, it may also slow down the unloading of containers from the vessels, said the port users.
According to the data of the port, 31,514 TEUs of import containers were lying at the port till 8:00am on June 4. As of yesterday morning, it had reached 41,739 TEUs.
This means more than 4,000 TEUs of additional import-laden containers have been stockpiled at the port yards, exceeding the port’s capacity of storing 37,620 TEUs of containers. Port officials say all sorts of port activities were closed on Eid day and no container was delivered on the day. On the day before the Eid day, container delivery dropped to 344 TEUs compared to about 4,000 TEUs usually handed over on a normal working day.
Md Omar Faruk, secretary to Chattogram Port Authority, said the number of import containers rises during every Eid vacation. The pressure will lessen gradually once importers start taking deliveries in full swing.
Khairul Alam Sujan, director of Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association, said deliveries was yet to gear up because of the long Eid vacation.
Moreover, interested importers are failing to get the delivery as they are not finding the transports required, he said.
Sujan said the congestion might worsen at the end of the week since a good number of import-laden containers, which are waiting at the sea, would be added to the existing stocks of containers.