CHITTAGONG Port officials and users fear a possible container congestion if the deliveries do not gain pace in the coming days as the lockdown has been extended.
There has been a sharp fall in delivery of imported goods from the Chittagong port in recent days since the countrywide lockdown was imposed on in mid-April as importers are not taking the deliveries on time.
Overall container occupancy at the port yards is still at a comfortable level, without those dedicatedly used for storing import laden containers. But the port officials and users fear a possible container congestion if the deliveries do not gain pace in the coming days as the lockdown has been extended for one more week, reports Dhaka Daily Star.
The port authority has already started knocking different business bodies to take steps for taking delivery of goods each day of the week aiming at expediting the process.
Last week there were 35,138 TEU of all types of containers lying at the port yards, which was around 72 per cent of the port’s total capacity of storing 49,018 TEU. But concerns remain over the situation at the yards dedicated for storing import laden containers.
A total of 33,244 TEU of containers were lying at these dedicated yards covering around 93 per cent of their capacity of 35,868 TEU.
Overall, daily delivery from the port before the lockdown was over 5,000 TEU on an average whereas it came down to only 3,100 TEU per day in the last five days till recently.
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) in a recent urgent letter to the president of Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association (BICDA) requested for taking steps for the speedy removal of around 4,800 TEU of ICD-bound import laden and empty containers from the port.
In the letter, the CPA mentioned that some 1,469 TEU of empty containers and 1,363 TEU of import laden containers bound for the ICDs were lying at the port.
Moreover, some 1,927 TEU of ICD-bound import containers were on board different vessels anchored at the port jetties.
These containers need to be removed within four days in order to keep the port’s operational activities smooth and active, the letter stated.