AP Møller-Maersk has engaged top global apparel retailers like H&M and Inditex to lobby the Bangladesh government for getting a contract to operate the newly built Patenga Container Terminal in Chittagong which will start operation in July.

H&M and Inditex have already written to Bangladesh’s shipping secretary saying that the Danish shipping company has vast experience in port operations and providing logistics service thus it can be the best choice for the newly built terminal.

Maersk has also engaged the Danish government to pursue the government of Bangladesh to secure the operation contract.

The other contenders for the task are DP World, Red Sea Gateway Terminal, Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd and Saif Powertec.

The Sweden-based H&M is the largest buyer of Bangladeshi garment items and Inditex is also one of the top buyers with annual sourcing of apparel worth US$1.3 billion.

Supporting Maersk’s venture, Masarrat Quader, stakeholder engagement and public affairs manager at H&M Group, recently wrote a letter to Bangladesh’s shipping secretary that the country’s strained maritime infrastructure impacts the efficiency of the entire export supply chain and could ultimately make exports less competitive if the issues are left unresolved.

“We understand that the Government of Bangladesh has several port expansion projects in the pipeline, and we urge you to prioritise the development of these projects to improve the efficiency of the maritime infrastructure as it is essential to maintain our growth ambitions for Bangladesh,” Quader wrote.

She added that as new infrastructure projects in Bangladesh become operational, “we believe now is the right time to prepare for the future by considering ESG aspects when commencing operations at the new terminals.”

“We, along with our global logistics partners such as Maersk, will do our best to support your initiatives,” she pointed out.

In his letter to the shipping secretary of Bangladesh, Javier Santonja Olcina, regional head in Bangladesh at Inditex, emphasised the need for maintaining ESG standards. He wrote that as new infrastructure projects in Bangladesh become operational, “we believe now is the right time to prepare for the future by considering ESG aspects when commencing operations at the new terminals.”

Olcina added, “In this context, we would like to direct your attention to the proposal submitted to the Government of Bangladesh by the Maersk Group for operating the Patenga Container Terminal.”

He highlighted, “We have global experience of working with the Maersk Group and consider them to be the ideal operator for this new terminal. We believe that their appointment as the operator of this new terminal can unlock the greatest value for all stakeholders.”

Bangladesh Army has built the US$240 million terminal at 130m² of land which will have the capacity to handle nearly 500,000 million TEU annually. The 600-metre-long box terminal will be able to handle vessels up to 10.5 meters, while three container vessels of 190-metre length and a 220-metre long oil tanker will be able to take berth at the terminal at a time.

Source: Container News