A promise of better connectivity
With increased capacity and better connectivity, shippers can rely on Mongla Port to escape the congestions that have always delayed their shipments
The second largest container port in Bangladesh is expanding capacity by 42 per cent to 100,000 future to meet the rise in traffic. Of this, 30,000 teus capacity will be ready with the commissioning of two berths slated for completion in 2020. This capacity addition will particularly be needed as traders look for alternatives to Chittagong Port. As the bridge over River Padma completes it will boost hinterland connectivity, particularly to Dhaka which is closer to Mongla than Chittagong Port. The bridge will open up import/export opportunities for a variety of goods including apparel and jute. Development of Khan Jahan Ali Airport in close vicinity will also attract more cargo to the port.
The port expects traffic to grow to 3,39,000 teu by 2019-20, which will further increase to 7,62,000 teu in 2050. A thermal power plant being set up in Rampal and set to commission by March 2021 will further add to the cargo being imported through the port.
To further make Mongla Port more attractive to shippers the port authority has reduced its charges below those at Chittagong Port. The channel to the port is being dredged to further increase the draft from 7.5 meters to 10 meters so that larger ships can be brought in. A logistics challenge at the port was lack of rail connectivity which is being resolved by connecting the port to Bangladesh rail network and tracks will be laid from Khulna to Mongla.
The government has initiated mega projects worth Tk 10,000 crore at the port which include construction of container terminal jetty 1 and 2, construction of container handling yard, container delivery yard, shade, security wall automation and other infrastructures, including extension of the port, service vessel jetty shade and office. An economic zone is being constructed on 205 acres near the port, railway lines from Mongla to Kolkata via Nepal and Bhutan are being laid and necessary link-roads for enhancing regional connectivity will be developed. Modern facilities will be developed at the port using Tk 6,500 crore, of which, Tk 6256 crore will be provided by India under its third line of credit.
Recently Bangladesh and India have inked an agreement for using Mongla and Chittagong Ports for connecting to North Eastern states. The agreement will be effective for five years with a provision of auto renewal for another five years. Four routes are suggested for the goods movements which include – Chittagong
Port/ Mongla Port-agartala via Akhaura; Chittagong/mongladaouki via Tamabil; Chittagong/ Mongla-sutarkandi via Sheola; and Chittagong/mongla-bibekbazar via Simantapur.