Rough seas and incessant rain have kept suspended the unloading of imported bulk cargo from vessels at the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port and Kutubdia anchorage for the last four days.
Unloading activities had slowed down since last week due to choppy seas and it was halted following incessant rain that started on Saturday morning.
However, the unloading of bulk cargoes from the vessels berthed at the port’s main jetties has continued as they are not susceptible to water damage, port officials said.
With lighter vessel unable to go out for unloading, at least 35 cargo vessels with around 10 lakh tonnes of goods remain anchored at the outer anchorage, sources said.
The goods include wheat, soybean oil, sugar, salt, fertiliser, stone and industrial raw materials like cement clinker, slag and steel scraps.
The vessels can either lighten their load before berthing or transfer all of their cargoes to lighter vessels, say ship handlers.
At least 44 small lighter vessels remain in the Karnaphuli river waiting for the inclement weather to subside.
Ataul Karim, an official of the Water Transport Cell, a private organisation that allocates lighter vessels, said they allotted 44 lighter vessels for unloading goods from the cargo vessels at the outer anchorage four days back.
But none could get to work for the rain and rough seas, lengthening the stay of cargo vessels at the outer anchorage.
Each day’s overstay was costing $12,000 for one charterer, said Zahur Alam, director of Seacom Shipping Lines, the local agent of a ship stuck with 54,500 tonnes of cement clinker.