The Gate­way to Bangladesh and North­east In­dia

Ris­ing against all odds Bangladesh’s hub port is im­ple­ment­ing some se­ri­ous ini­tia­tives to re­duce dwell time and in­crease ca­pac­ity

Maritime Gateway - - Front Page -

The bulk of in­ter­na­tional trade in Bangladesh is gen­er­ated from the Dhaka-chittagong cor­ri­dor where more than a third of the coun­try’s eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity is lo­cated. This sen­tence it­self un­der­scores the piv­otal role Chittagong Port plays in mov­ing Bangladesh’s trade and com­merces. draft of 9.1 me­ters, the av­er­age size of con­tainer ves­sels serv­ing the Chittagong Port is 2500 teus to 3000 teus. The Port ser­vices 79 per cent of Bangladesh’s agri­cul­tural im­ports and ex­ports. The port also moves re­gional trade for Nepal, Bhutan, and north-east­ern In­dian states. Of the dry cargo orig­i­nat­ing from the port 10 per cent moves by rail, 75 per cent by road and 15 per cent by river. Of the to­tal cargo mov­ing through the port 60 per cent is bound for Dhaka. Ma­jor im­ported com­modi­ties mov­ing through the port in­clude are food grains, ce­ment, fer­til­izer, coal, salt, sugar and edi­ble oil.

Ex­pected rise in cargo vol­umes The port is served by 19 ICDS that han­dled 3,15,000 teu im­port con­tain­ers, 5,33,000 teu ex­port con­tain­ers and 6,50,000 teu empty con­tain­ers in 2017.

In FY2015 the port han­dled 61 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of cargo which in­creased to 71 mil­lion met­ric tonnes in FY 2016. Grow­ing trade in the coun­try fur­ther pro­pelled the cargo han­dled to 79 mil­lion met­ric tonnes in FY2017. Con­sid­er­ing the ris­ing eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the coun­try, it is fore­cast that vol­umes mov­ing through the port will see a three-fold rise in con­tainer traf­fic in next 15 years. By 2020 cargo mov­ing through the port is ex­pected to touch 2.7 mil­lion teus, which will fur­ther rise to 5.4 mil­lion teus in 2040. Ca­pac­ity ad­di­tion

A Bay Ter­mi­nal is be­ing planned at Patenga coast on 900 acres of land be­hind the Chittagong Ex­port Pro­cess­ing Zone (CEPZ) al­low­ing big ships longer than 190 me­ters with a draft of more than 9.5 me­ters to berth and carry out other ac­tiv­i­ties. Mother ves­sels hav­ing up to 5000 teus will be able to an­chor here.

A con­tainer ter­mi­nal on 55 hec­tres of land is planned at Dhi­ras­ram, Gazipur, at­tached to Dhaka East­ern by-pass road. It will have a han­dling ca­pac­ity of 3,54,000 teus per an­num. Han­dling ca­pac­ity of this ICD will be al­most 20 per cent of the con­tainer han­dling ca­pac­ity of Chittagong Port. A two-way rail­way line will con­nect the ICD to the port to en­able faster move­ment of con­tain­ers, re­duce con­ges­tion in Chittagong Port as well as in the Dhaka-chittagong High way cor­ri­dor.

Di­rect Port De­liv­ery

Cut­ting on con­ges­tion and dwell time, the port author­ity is send­ing more items to ICDS for di­rect de­liv­ery to im­porters. The num­ber of items un­der DPD is in­creased from 28 to

35. This will re­duce dwell time from five days to one day. More space will be made avail­able for con­tain­ers at the port and move­ment of cargo will be­come smoother.

Ad­van­tage to North­east In­dia

Bangladesh gov­ern­ment has ap­proved use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports for mov­ing goods to north­east In­dian states. Pre­vi­ously, it would take 15-20 days for goods to reach Tripura from Mum­bai. Via the Chittagong port it will only take 3-4 days.

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