Indeed, there is also a lack of enough berths for the vessels to dock. All in all, we have a situation that has built up a queue of vessels waiting to get berth. This has been going on since last May. We are informed that shipping liners must count steep demurrage for goods to be unloaded after berthing at docks. This has prompted shipping liners plying the Singapore-Chittagong route to raise price per container by USD 150 because of the congestion. Indeed the traffic has cut down shipments by liners on this route to one shipment (as opposed to two earlier) per month.

We did not arrive at this situation in a day. The problems of lack of infrastructure have been accruing over the years. The number of jetties has remained the same since 2007, while import volume has risen from 1 million to 2.4 million containers as of the last fiscal year.

Port infrastructure has simply not grown to handle this extra volume and the plan to build a container terminal is now scheduled for 2019. Our failure to prioritise Chittagong port is translating into higher end prices for all goods and raw materials coming out of it. The backlog in unloading these goods (counting demurrage) means that the market price of imported products is rising and we, the consumers, bear the cost. It also does little to improve our cost of doing business, and our image as a whole, with the largest port in the country in a dysfunctional state.

http://www.thedailystar.net/editorial/chittagong-port-cargo-handling-glut-1437124

Source: thedailystar
2017-07-24

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