Chittagong Port has been facing container congestion for a week, the second this month, mainly because of slow delivery of import containers and transportation of containers to private inland container depots.
Import-laden containers lying in the port yards totalled 44,473 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) till yesterday against the port's storage facility of 37,620 TEUs.
A good portion of import containers are usually taken from the port to the ICDs from where importers receive the goods.
But the movement of the containers to the ICDs has been facing disruption for the last couple of days, after the Road, Transport and Highways Division banned trucks, covered vans and lorries from plying on the roads three days before Eid-ul-Azha.
As of yesterday, the number of ICD-bound containers lying at the port yards rose to 5,039 TEUs although the port doesn't have designated space to store them.
The port experienced a similar congestion in the first week of August due to a transport crisis amid countrywide student protests demanding safe roads and an almost concurrently unannounced transport strike.
Although the Eid vacation ended, only a small number of vehicles plied as not all of the transport workers who had gone home to celebrate the vacation have returned, causing the poor delivery of imported goods.
Usually 3,000 TEUs to 4,000 TEUs of import-laden containers are delivered on a normal working day whereas only 3,000 TEUs were delivered in the five days to Saturday.
Abu Bakar Siddique, executive president of the Chittagong Prime Mover Owners Association, said a good number of containers were delivered from the port on Sunday as some vehicles have started plying.
Fazle Ekram Chowdhury, president of the Ship Handling and Terminal Operators Owners Association, said berth operators are working to ensure quick loading and unloading of containers but the handling has been disrupted because of the space shortage at the yards.
He called for a dedicated lane on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway for vehicles carrying goods to keep export-import activities unhurt.
Md Zafar Alam, member for administration and planning of the Chittagong Port Authority, said the situation has started improving as the delivery has been expedited since Sunday.
The situation would return to normalcy within a few days, he said.