Modernisation of Chattogram Port is a must for absorbing thriving economy29 September 2022
The Chattogram Port must fast-track the unloading of goods, install modern equipment, and improve service quality in order to cut congestion and facilitate Bangladesh's fast-expanding global trade. The system of releasing goods from the Chattogram Port is quite complex. We need to get out of this as soon as possible. Experts said the challenges facing the Chattogram Port have intensified in keeping with the growth of the industrial sector of the country. Due to the continuous rise in the number of containers used to move export and import cargoes, additional time is being taken to release goods.
Vessel congestion is a permanent feature and Chattogram Port is one of the ports in the world where releasing goods takes a higher time. Businesses have to wait 11 days and six hours to have their cargo released after their arrival at the seaport. The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, however, said businesses require longer than 11 days as the NBR still physically examines documents against shipments. To overcome the sluggishness, customs and businessmen will have to work in a coordinated manner to reduce congestion.
The sea level is rising due to climate change and tidal water enters the yard. The construction of the Bay Terminal will have to be accelerated. If the terminal does not open on time, the transportation of goods will be disrupted. The port handles 93 per cent of the country's seaborne import and export cargoes and 98 per cent of containerised goods. On average, 3.77 crore tonnes of bulk goods were handled every year from 2012-13 to 2016-17. It rose to 7 crore tonnes in the last fiscal year as the economy expanded.
We know the number of containers handled at Chittagong Port is growing by 15-22 per cent every year, but the port is running its operations with the same number of jetties and yards it had 10 years back. For absorbing the loading and unloading of the thriving import and export construction of terminals and modernisation of the service delivery is a must.