Ctg port posts record growth in container handling

Chittagong Port posted 21.13 percent annual growth in container handling in fiscal 2010-11, the highest in 16 years.

The annual growth of container handling did not register such increases since 1994-95, said officials of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA). The handling of export containers saw an increase of 23.25 percent in fiscal 2010-11, compared to the previous year.

The growth in terms of handling bulk cargo, goods both in container and bulk by the port and arrival of merchant vessels also registered significant growth compared with the previous year, they added. CPA Chairman Commodore M Anwarul Islam sees it as a positive result of some recent initiatives taken by the authority and a rise in the country's exports. The port handled 14.68 lakh TEUs (twenty equivalent units) containers in 2010-11, up from 12.12 lakh TEUs in the previous year, according to the CPA Traffic Department.

CPA Director (Traffic) Enamul Karim said the growth is a record high in recent years. Besides containers, the handling of bulk cargo and goods both in container and bulk cargo by the port has increased significantly in 2010-2011. The annual growth of bulk cargo handling reached 21.82 percent in 2010-11, according to official data.

The CPA chairman, Anwarul Islam, said they could run the port activities smoothly in the last few months which helped achieve such growth in container and cargo handling. He also said an increase in the country's export and import business due to the stable political situation was a major factor. Nasiruddin Chowdhury, first vice-president of BGMEA, predicted container handling will maintain such growth in the coming years. He said the efficiency and capability of the port should be increased further. The CPA chairman said the port's capacity and efficiency would be increased significantly once the computerised container terminal management system (CTMS) is introduced. He hopes to introduce CTMS within the first week of August.

CTMS would help the port handle 30 per cent more business up to next three years and by then the New Mooring Container Terminal should be opened for operators to cope with the ever increasing growth. Anwarul Islam hoped that the turnaround time for vessels would be reduced by 12 to 24 hours with proper implementation of CTMS. He said they would take steps to stop un-staffing of goods from containers in the port area and to do the job in the off docks and inland depots to create more space in the port.

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