Exporters said that the container handling increased mainly due to the increase in the import and export volume in recent times
Handling of containers at the Chittagong port has seen a sharp rise in November with the total reaching to 2.65 million TEUs, 9.42% higher than the previous month, shows the data of the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA).
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, the port authority has attributed the enhanced capacity of the port to the rise of container handling, while the exporters opined that the rise of export-import has brought about the increase.
“To cope with the rapid growth in export and import business, the port authority has taken a number of initiatives to increase the infrastructure capacity of the port. As a part of the steps, the CPA has increased the number of gantry cranes from 4 to 10 recently,” Mohammad Omar Faruk, CPA Secretary told the Dhaka Tribune.
Proportionately, we have also increased other equipment and the efficiency of officials concerned, which has helped increasing the container handling, he said.
Meanwhile, exporters said that the container handling increased mainly due to the increase in the import and export volume in recent times.
According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, Bangladesh’s export earnings in the July-October period of the current fiscal registered an 18.65% growth to $13.65 billion, which was $11.50 billion in the same period last year.
Bangladesh Bank data shows that in the fiscal year 2017-18, Letters of Credit (LCs) settlement reached $51.53 billion, up 16.40 % year-on-year.
New investment in the manufacturing sector increased the import volume, while the imports for mega projects expedited the growth of import, bankers and businessmen said.
“Due to shortage of equipment, the cargo handling saw a decline in the past. As the ports authority added new machinery, container handling saw a rise,” Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) research director Khondaker Golam Moazzem told the Dhaka Tribune, meaning that the port capacity moved towards the better.
In the Fiscal Year 2017-18, the Chittagong Port handled over 2.8 million 20-foot containers, up 12.19%, against 2,503,471 containers in 2016-17.
Chittagong Port is very crucial for the Bangladesh economy as 90% of the country’s export-import business is done through the port.