The pressure of importing goods has started to increase since last January after the coroner’s push. In particular, the import of industrial raw materials is increasing. Upcoming project equipment and machinery. Under this pressure, the congestion of ordinary cargo ships is increasing in the port. This complication cannot be handled by the port’s own jetty. To cope with the pressure, the Chittagong Port Authority has taken the initiative to use specialized jetties in the private sector.
Port officials said an initiative has been taken to use two newly constructed jetties to repair the ship of the private sector Karnafuli Dry Dock Limited on the south bank of Karnafuli on an experimental basis. After that, the port is thinking of using specialized jetties of public and private companies as per the demand of importers.
In this regard, Chittagong Port Chairman Rear Admiral M Shahjahan told Prothom Alo that the initiative was taken so that the ships would not have to wait at the outer anchorage despite the increasing pressure to import goods. If the ship is not lazy, you do not have to spend foreign currency as compensation. The country’s money will remain in the country. For this, an initiative has been taken to bring all the specialized jetties of government and non-government organizations like Karnafuli Dry Dock Jetty out of the port’s own jetty.
The port has been using the jetty at Chittagong Dry Dock, a naval-run ship repair company, for several years due to congestion. In addition, specialized jetties of several other government agencies were occasionally used in isolation as per the demand of the importers. However, this is the first initiative to use a private jetty.
Port officials said there are 10 specialized cargo jetties on both banks of the Karnafuli River. Of these, three are from the private sector and seven from five government agencies. The concerned companies have constructed these jetties by leasing the land of the port. Two new jetties at Karnafuli Dry Dock have been constructed this month. If these jetties are used, the concerned companies will also get a share of the fee.
According to the port, the use rate of eight jetties last year was 32 per cent on average, with the exception of the two new ones. In other words, these jetties were not used 246 days a year. These jetties were empty as they did not have their own products. On the other hand, the utilization rate of the port’s own six jetties for loading and unloading general goods was 97 per cent last year. In other words, the jetty was not empty for a day except for the arrival and departure of ships at high tide.
The goods which are difficult to unload at the outer anchorage are mainly unloaded at the jetty. The port has six jetties for unloading goods from ordinary cargo ships. Out of these six, roughly five ships can be loaded. Such ships have to wait outside the port for most of the year due to the jetty crisis due to increased imports. Ships have been added to the pressure of imported goods this year. Now the port often has to give the highest priority to unloading rice from government cargo ships. It also takes more time to unload the rice from the ship. Although there is a specialized jetty of the food department, ships are not being loaded there.
Again, from last December to February, each ship carrying old pieces of iron was anchored at the jetty after an average of 15 days of waiting. The rent of these medium-sized ships is now 11-12 thousand dollars a day. The importers had to spend more than a million dollars to compensate for each ship. Consumers are paying this fee indirectly. Importers also want to use specialized jetties in this situation.
When asked, BSRM Group Deputy Managing Director Tapan Sengupta told Prothom Alo that the importers of raw materials will definitely benefit from the use of specialized jetties. There is no need to pay compensation in foreign currency for a ship sitting idle in the outer anchorage waiting to be anchored at the jetty. If the ship is released quickly and leaves the port, the image of this port abroad will increase.