a year ago

Ctg port officially invites larger ships to dock

Stakeholders say this will help increase the port's productivity and lessen import costs

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After successfully accommodating larger vessels at Chattogram port in early 2022, the Chattogram Port Authority issued an official notification on Sunday calling on foreign shippers to send cargo carriers up to 200-metre length with a draught of 10 metres to the premier seaport of Bangladesh.

This latest development marks a significant milestone for the port, as stakeholders and shippers alike have long been advocating for the berthing of larger ships to help alleviate cargo congestion at the port and reduce external trade costs.

As Syed Mohammad Arif, chairman of the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, said, "Bigger vessels will carry in more cargoes and containers, which will significantly lessen the import cost".

He thanked the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) and said the shipping agents, who mainly represent foreign shipping companies, will inform their principals about the port development.

The CPA circular specifies that vessels with a length overall (LOA) of up to 200 metres and a 10.0-metre draught may be allowed to take a berth in jetties, subject to prevailing real-time hydrological conditions.

Prior to this, the maximum allowance was 9.5-metre draught and 190-metre length vessels, which had a maximum capacity of 2,200 TEUs of containers.

With the newly-issued circular, the capacity has increased to over 3,000 TEUs of containers and nearly 40,000 tonnes of goods for bulk cargo ships.

In November 2020, the CPA appointed London-based consultancy firm HR Wallingford to conduct a hydrological and hydraulic study of the port's navigation capacity.

Following the study, the port authority dredged parts of the Karnaphuli river to create conditions suitable for larger vessels.

A successful trial run was conducted on January 16, 2022, when the Marshall Island flag carrier ship, MV Common Atlas, berthed at a jetty of the port.

Following this, on February 26, another 200-metre vessel was anchored at the newly-built Patenga Container Terminal.

As the port continues to break new ground, it handled 4,344 ships in 2022, up from 4,209 ships in 2021, further solidifying its position as the lynchpin of Bangladesh's maritime industry.

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