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Chittagong Port’s container holding capacity exceeds 36,000 TEUs

a1-235x300CHITTAGONG, Jan 10: With the development of back-up facilities in the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) and expansion of other container yards, the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has enhanced its container holding capacity by over 5000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units).

The exactly container holding capacity of the prime maritime port of the country is yet to be ascertained but port office sources said it has surpassed 36,000 TEUs by December 2013.

Cargo handling of the seaport experienced a growth of 5.57 per cent in the last calendar year (2013) against that of 2012. In 2013, Chittagong Port handled 44.266 million metric tonnes of import and export cargo both in bulk and containerised goods.

Port officials said the hartals (general strike) and blockade programmes enforced by the opposition political parties had little impact on the port’s cargo handling activities but delivery of both containerised and bulk cargo from the port to distant destinations faced severe obstacles causing immense suffering to the importers and exporters of the country.

“The port authority is happy to see cargo handling growth of 5.57 per cent in the just concluded calendar year. But we fell short by 2.81 per cent in 2012 against that of 2011,” said port secretary Syed Farhad Uddin.

Out of the total cargo handled by the port in 2013, the volume of imported bulk cargo was 28.586 million metric tonnes and exported bulk cargo 3,60,817 MT while the containerised import cargo volume was 10.489 million MT and containerised export cargo volume was 48,30,449 MT.

In the calendar year 2012, the port handled import and export cargo over 41.928 million metric tonnes which was short of the previous year (2011) by 2.81 per cent that handled 43.14 million tons of bulk and containerised export and import cargo.

There is little possibility of facing container congestion in the port after the development of the back-up facilities of the NCT apart from the expansion of other container yards of the seaport, he said.

“The seaport’s container holding capacity was 30,886 TEUs as recorded by the last caretaker government after 1/11 in 2007. During the last five years the authority enhanced the port’s container holding capacity through expansion of the existing container yards, development of back-up facility of the NCT and installation of new equipments,” said the port secretary.

A three-member committee of the senior port officials has been constituted to ascertain the actual container holding capacity of the port. The committee has been asked to submit its report by Tuesday or Wednesday.

A total of 947 container vessels and 1209 bulk cargo vessels arrived at Chittagong port in 2013.

The average turnaround time of container vessels in the port was 3.39 days as the port loaded and unloaded 15,41,517 TEUs containers, the highest in the port’s history. The turnaround time of bulk cargo vessels was 5.94 days in 2013.

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Report: Pankaj Dastider

Source: Financial Express

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