Fate of 303 export containers hangs in the balance | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 22, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 22, 2019

Fate of 303 export containers hangs in the balance

They failed to reach Ctg port on time due to strike; goods transport resumes after 18 hours

Two container vessels left Chattogram port yesterday without taking 303 TEUs export-laden containers as they could not be loaded on time thanks to work abstention by transport workers and owners on Wednesday.

The containers will now have to be shipped via the next feeder vessels, which are scheduled to depart the port today or tomorrow, to catch the connecting mother vessels in Singapore and Colombo respectively.

Marine Bia and Cape Monterey, the two vessels, were scheduled to depart the port yesterday morning.

But Marine Bia left for Singapore at about 4.45am leaving behind 65 TEUs (twenty equivalent units) of export containers, said Muntasir Rubaiyat, head of operations of the vessel’s local agent GBX logistics. 

Cape Monetrey, which was also scheduled to sail out during the morning tide, though pushed back its departure for more than 11 hours to carry all the containers it was supposed to.

It departed at 4:20pm without taking 238 TEUs export containers out of the 1,535 TEUs it was booked for, said Saiful Islam, senior manager of Seacom Bangladesh, local agent of the vessel.

Port users and exporters sensed uncertainty over timely dispatch of the export cargoes.

Subsequently, the containers left behind may miss the connecting mother vessels at the next ports, said Khairul Alam Sujan, director of Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association.

It is uncertain whether the 303 TEUs containers could be shipped to the next feeder vessels scheduled to depart Chattogram today or tomorrow, said Nasir Uddin Ahmed, chairman of the Bangladesh Garment Manufactures and Exporters Association Standing Committee on Port and Shipping.

It could take three to four days more to get the next feeder and in that case the containers would also miss the connecting mother vessels at Singapore or Colombo.

And then exporters may have to bear additional costs for air shipment of the cargoes from the next port to meet the lead time, he added.

Meanwhile, transportation of goods and container to and from Chattogram port resumed yesterday immediately after the truckers and covered van owners called off their countrywide strike following a fruitful meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.

Container movement started at around 2:00am after 18 hours of suspension, according to Chattogram Port Authority Secretary Md Omar Faruq.

On the other hand, vehicles carrying export containers from the 19 private inland container depots started for the port as soon as the announcement arrived, said Ruhul Amin Sikder, secretary of Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association.  

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