THE Bangladeshi Port of Chittagong fears container congestion due to Covid crisis restrictions, reports Dhaka’s Financial Express.
According to Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Mahbubul Alam, if the current Covid restrictions are extended, production would be hampered.
Mr Alam also declared that the initial Covid crisis restrictions a year prior caused the country’s overall trade activities to reach a standstill.
He said a severe cargo handling crisis and container congestion happened at the Chittagong Port due to the prolonged nationwide shutdown during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that brought the country’s overall trade activities almost to a standstill.
“So we have to remain alert this time,” said Mr Alam.
“If the lockdown rolls on for another week or for a longer time, a container congestion is inevitable,” said Mr Alam.
Although a half dozen oceangoing vessels sailed from the port, 105 cargo ships currently remain anchored at the port.
A total of 6,047 TEU was handled on April 7 at the port, with 2,988 TEU being unloaded and 1,609 TEU loaded for export.
The CPA dispatched a total of 9,073 TEU containers from Chittagong Port to Dhaka the same day.
But CPA secretary Omar Faruk did not agree with the traders’ claims of interruption.
“Amid the lockdown, the operational activities of Chittagong Port including loading and unloading are quite normal till today. Loading and unloading of containers and goods are continuing at Outer Anchorage and jetties too,” said Mr Faruk.
“I hope nothing will happen that may trigger container congestion as the industries and factories have remained open and they have continued to take delivery of goods till today,” said Mr Faruk.