Six ICDs top export, import handlers’ list for seventh year
Six out of the 19 private inland container depots (ICDs) have once again come up as the major handler of export and import cargoes in the port city.
The six jointly handled around 62.4 per cent of the total and they have retained the top six positions for the past seven years.
There are 19 privately-owned ICDs in and around Chattogram facilitating quick clearance of containers, be it empty or containing goods, easing congestion at the country's premier sea port in the city.
They handled 9,83,452 TEUs (twenty-feet equivalent units) of import and export-laden containers in 2022.
In terms of just export-laden containers, the six accounted for 58.85 per cent of the 7,43,461 TEUs handled by the 19.
KDS Logistics has retained its spot as the top private inland container depot (ICD) in terms of the total volume of export and import cargo handled for a fifth consecutive year in 2022.
KDS Logistics topped the chart accounting for 16.14 per cent of the total.
It was followed by Portlink Logistics Centre, two units of Summit Alliance Port (East and West), Esack Brothers Industries and Incontrade.
KDS Logistics alone managed 1,18,854 TEUs. It has been retaining the top position since 2018.
In case of import-laden ones, the top six accounted for 73.44 per cent of the 2,39,991 TEUs handled by the 19.
Here, the KDS has been retaining the second position for the past three years.
In 2022, it was also the top handler of empty containers.
They have been consistently focusing on developing efficiency to ensure better services to clients, including foreign buyers, nominated freight forwarders and importers, said Executive Director Ahsanul Kabir.
"We are continuously increasing container handling equipment, ensuring labour management properly as well as complying with all international standards," he said.
Among other equipment, KDS has 97 container trucks, six reach stackers for handling goods-laden containers and another seven for empty containers.
Two more reach stackers for handling goods-laden containers will be brought soon, said Kabir.
Portlink Logistics clinched the top position for a seventh year in terms of the volume of import-laden containers handled.
This year it handled 75,931 TEUs of import-laden containers followed by the KDS (39,944 TEUs) and Incontrade (24,113 TEUs).
The volume of export and import-laden containers handled by the 19 is, however, down 2.93 per cent from that in 2021.
This was a result of the overall fall in import, said Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA) Secretary Md Ruhul Amin Sikder.
Hoping for this year to be better, he said all depends on how the global economy turns about.
The 19 ICDs handled about 93 per cent of the total export-laden containers passing through the Chattogram port while around 20 per cent to 23 per cent of the import-laden ones.
Currently 38 types of imports are sent to the ICDs from the port to be delivered to consignees.
The BICDA secretary said they have long been demanding to increase the number of import items the private ICDs were allowed to handle.