The Chittagong port is embracing new technologies gradually to make faster and efficient delivery of services as part of its digital transformation.

The port authority has digitised the entry fee collection to make faster the entrance of trucks in the port premises for transporting containers.

Since 15 September 2021, entry fees will be collected online only, which will reduce the time consumption for fee collection to the highest two minutes from the present 15 to 20 minutes.

At the same time, the port authority this month started to send all bills and collecting money from shipping agents and mainline line operators through digital medium. No paper copies are now being provided to them from concerned port offices.

According to officials, some 8,000 vehicles enter daily the port area, where congestion in all eight gates of the port is created due to the lengthy procedure in entry fee payment.

With the new technology, the entry fee has to be paid through mobile financial services by using the port’s terminal operating system (TOS), and the vehicles will be able to enter the port area showing the payment receipt instead of waiting at the port gates.

A trial run on the service started on 11 July and is going on for the collection of entry fees from vehicles.

In the meantime, to ensure security at the port premises and to allow only authorised persons, the port authority has registered the details with pictures of nearly 50,000 drivers and their 27,000 assistants in the port’s software.

The port-linked huge traffic creates vehicle congestion in the main city area raising the sufferings of the dwellers. Chittagong airport going passengers and people who goes to the export processing zone (EPZ) also suffer severely.

Alamgir Hossain, an electronic goods importer, said the long delay in collecting vehicle entry fees manually in the port gates was also among the number of problems the importers and exporters had been facing.

“Introduction of the digital system will make their entrance faster and lower complications,” he hoped.

Meanwhile, sending bills and collecting fees online to the shipping agents and mainline line operators was lauded by the stakeholders.

Muntasir Rubayat, Director, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, termed service digitisation as a positive step.

“In the past, we had to wait weeks to get the bills. The new system has given us relief from waiting a long period,” he said.

Source : Container News