‘Transport strike’ halts Ctg port operations

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‘Transport strike’ halts Ctg port operations

Shamsuddin Illius, Chattogram
SUFFERINGS CONTINUE: People walk up Mayor Hanif Flyover at Sayedabad in the capital as public transports stay off the streets yesterday, the 8th day of student movement to push for safe road. Independent Photo
Publication Date: 6 August, 2018
Media: The Independent

The loading and unloading of general cargo vessels stopped at the Chattogram port yesterday due to the transport strike in the face of the students’ agitation for safe roads. Sources said no vehicle carrying export goods entered the port area yesterday. The Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) said unloading of goods from three general cargo vessels were stopped early yesterday, while export items could not be brought to the export-processing zones and private containers depots due to the transport strike.

The CPA said if the transport strike continued for two more days, it would lead to container congestion at port yards and also affect port operations severely.

CPA director (traffic) Golam Sarwar yesterday told The Independent that unloading of goods completely stopped from three vessels at the general cargo berth (GCB) no. 3, 4, and 5 since yesterday morning. These vessels are carrying different raw materials, including cement clinkers, which should be loaded directly into trucks.

“Since the trucks could not enter the port, unloading of goods from these three cargo vessels was stopped,” he said.

Sarwar, however, added that unloading of goods from container-laden vessels and operations at the outer anchorage was going on uninterrupted.

The port official also said 5,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) containers for export were now lying in the jetties and that operations would stop if they were not transported within the next two days.

Every day several thousand trucks, lorries and covered vans leave the Chattogram port with different imported goods and many also come to the port with exports goods. But the sudden

strike by transport owners has halted these operations.

On their part, businessmen said this halt in transport of goods woulds mostly affect the export sector, particularly the garments industry. “Export-oriented goods are stuck at the port due to the wildcat strike by transport owners,” Prime Mover Trailer Owners’ Samity general secretary Abu Bakar Siddique said yesterday.

Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association secretary general Ruhul Amin Sikder yesterday told The Independent: “We could not move about 4,000 TUEs containers, including 1,700 with export goods, 1,000 with imported goods and about 2,000 empty containers, due to the strike.”

Nasir Uddin Chowdhury, chairman of the Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping of Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA), said: “The strike by transport owners is illogical and they should be punished. The garments sector is bearing the brunt of the illegal strike. Export goods are stuck in the depots today. If we fail to deliver the goods in time, we will lose foreign buyers.”

“Every day, USD 10,000 has to be paid as demurrage by a vessel waiting at the port. This would increase the cost of doing business,” he added.

Nasir, however, supported the students’ cause. “Their movement is logical as they are demanding safety on the roads. But the strike by transport owners is illegal,” he said.

Print Version: 

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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