Publication Date: 19 July, 2017
Vessel congestion at Ctg port continues
Media: The Independent
Original URL : Vessel congestion at Ctg port continues
E-paper URL: Vessel congestion at Ctg port continues
The congestion of container vessels at the outer anchorage of the Chittagong port is increasing with no immediate hope of solution.
A difficult situation arose after June 25, following an accident that left two out of the four gantry cranes of the port damaged.
Under the circumstances, most vessels are being forced to overstay 12 to 15 days against the normal turnaround time of two to three days, said Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and Shipping sources.
Moreover, the number of vessels waiting at the outer anchorage is increasing.
As a result of this delay, businessmen are being made to pay high demurrage. It will have an impact on the overall imports of the country, the sources added.
Businessmen and shipping officials also say that many shipping companies are increasing the container-carrying fare to the Chittagong port from different ports of the world, as the period of overstay at the outer anchorage is increasing.
Sources said 10 vessels, on an average, were waiting to berth at jetties in May this year. In June, the number increased to 16.
Last year, the average number of vessels waiting at the outer anchorage was eight.
“We’ve to count high demurrage for overstaying vessels. A vessel has to wait for more than 10 days for berthing. Some companies have increased their carrying cost in this situation. We want the CPA to fix this problem quickly,” said Bangladesh Shipping Agents’ Association chairman Ahsanul Huq Chowdhury.
“This is mainly an equipment and management problem of the CPA. We’ll place some proposals on it before the CPA chairman,” he added.
Contacted, CPA member (administration and planning) Md Zafar Alam said: “There is not much congestion at the outer anchorage at present. Gearless vessels (those with no cranes on board) need to stay for eight to nine days.
This will come down further within two to three days. Owing to the crane accident, we’re now encouraging the importers to bring geared vessels (those with cranes on board).”
He alleged that some people were spreading panic. “Don’t spread panic. The problem will be solved within two or three days,” he said.
The Chittagong port handles 93 per cent of the country’s export-import trade via the sea route. Container handling at the port has increased at an average of 13 per cent annually in the last five years.
After 2007, no jetty has been built at the Chittagong port, making it difficult to cope with the increasing load.