Transport strike disrupts supply chain

The transport workers' strike affected the supply chain of commodities, including perishables, hurting businesses and consumers in different parts of the country, traders said yesterday.

Vegetable prices went up in various parts of the country, including Dhaka, as the vegetables were left stranded at the producing regions.

Commodities, including perishables like onions and fruits, also remained stuck at the ports until yesterday noon when the strike was called off.

Transport workers went on a sudden countrywide strike since February 28, protesting a verdict by two courts against a bus driver and a truck driver for two separate accidents and deaths.

“We have kept potatoes and other vegetables at our store since Tuesday. We were not able to send those to Dhaka and other regions due to the strike. As a result, the vegetables have started to rot,” said Rahidul Islam, a vegetable wholesaler at Mahasthan Bazar, one of the main wholesale vegetable depots in the north.

“We have nothing to do if the vegetables rot. We hope to send these today as the strike ends,” he said yesterday.

The disrupted supply chain from the countryside has led to a hike in the prices of various vegetables such as eggplant, cucumber, green chilli and bottle gourd, said retailers at some kitchen markets in Dhaka.

Vegetable prices went up by Tk 5-Tk 10 a kilogram, said Saddam Hossain, a vegetable retailer at Gopibag, Dhaka.

Meanwhile in Chittagong, the prices of some vegetables, like green chilli and cucumber, went up, while others remain unchanged, according to The Daily Star correspondents in the area.

Prices of fish also edged up yesterday in Dhaka and Chittagong, compared to the previous day, as suppliers were unable to send their catch for the strike.

“The demand for vegetable was higher than supply at the wholesale market. Bottle gourds are usually brought in from Rajshahi. But no truck came to Karwan Bazar from there,” said Jahangir Hossain, a retailer at the AGB Colony vegetable market in Motijheel.

At Pirojpur district town, the reduced supply caused a spiral in vegetable prices by over Tk 10 per kilogram.

Bishwajit Saha, general manager of City Group, said many of their delivery trucks carrying essential commodities -- cooking oil, sugar and flour -- could not reach their destinations for the transport strike.

City Group, a leading commodity importer and processor, delivers 8,000 tonnes of commodities by both road and the waterways. Supply through the waterways was unaffected, he added.

There would be no impact on commodity prices for the strike as traders usually keep a week's stock, he said.

Shipments at the ports have been affected as well, according to our correspondents. Hundreds of vehicles carrying goods imported from neighbouring countries India and Bhutan remained stranded at the land ports.

More than 600 trucks, including 150 with perishables, remained stuck at the Bhomra land port for the last couple of days.

Traders who have imported onions, oranges, apples and grapes run the risk of losses for the strike, President of Bhomra Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association Kazi Naoshad Delwar told our Satkhira correspondent.

At Burimari land port, at least 200 trucks loaded with imported goods, like stones, remained stranded for two days, according to the Lalmonirhat correspondent.



আমরা হারবো না, দেশের মানুষকে ঠকাবো না: অর্থমন্ত্রী

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