DHAKA : Chittagong Port handled record container volumes in 2021, despite pandemic-linked complexities and transport workers’ strikes that brought disruptions.
The prime seaport in Bangladesh handled 3.214 million TEU in the previous year, registering a 13.19% growth compared to 2020’s figures. At the same time, the port handled 116.61 million tonnes of cargo in the year by attaining a 12.99% growth.
Data also show a 12.90% growth in vessel handling from 2020, reaching 4,209 vessels in 2021.
Chittagong Port Authority Chairman, Rear Admiral M Shahjahan said the port’s productivity has increased significantly due to raising the number of handling equipment and yard space. He noted that the capacity will increase further once the under construction Patenga container terminal starts operation shortly this year.
Shahjahan pointed out that when many global ports saw huge congestions due to pandemic-related disruptions, the Chittagong port did not face any such situation thus the handling increased.
He said nowadays almost no vessel needs to wait at the outer anchorage to get berthing which helped to enhance productivity and save time and costs.
Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mahbubul Alam said the port’s productivity increased significantly as the normalcy came back in businesses worldwide by the second quarter of last year.
He expects further growth in container handling this year provided the pandemic does not cause any significant disruption.
Meantime, junior shipping minister, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury inaugurated, on 2 December, an ‘overflow container yard’ which will be able to accommodate 16,000 TEU.
Containers that were given delivery from New Mooring Container Terminal and Chittagong Container Terminal will now be given delivery from the new yard to lower the pressure on the main yards of the port, which have a total storage capacity of 49,000 TEU.