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
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.