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European container ship berthes at Chittagong Port after 44 years

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A container ship from Europe which took berth at Chittagong Port four days ago after more than four decades, left the country’s prime sea port Saturday evening after unloading goods imported from different countries.

Sources said, Italian registered ‘Cap Florence’ loaded with containers amounting to 1,200 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) came from Italy’s Cvitavisia Port and cast its anchor at Chittagong sea port at around 11am on December 23 (Thursday).

The merchandise ship left Chittagong Port three days later after unloading different types of imported items at around 5:30pm on Saturday.

Port officials said, Reliance Shipping and Logistic Limited is the local agent of the vessel weighing16,393 metric tonnes (MT), measuring 16,393 154.47 metres in length and 23.19 metres width.

The last time a European ship took berth at Chittagong Port was in 1977, port sources said.

Reliance Shipping and Logistics Chairman Mohammed Rashed told on Sunday that ‘Cap Florence’ set its sail from Cvitavisia Port 16 days ago and arrived at Chittagong Port on Dec 23 after crossing Suez Canal and Arab Sea and casting anchor at different other ports.

Reliance Shipping’s officials said they will operate two ships on Chittagong-Italy route regularly. ‘Cap Florence’ experimentally carried the cargo-loaded containers to Chittagong Port as part of the shipping lines’ plan to run such types of vessels regularly on this route, they added.

Talking with this correspondent Sunday, Md Rashed said Bangladesh’s main export sector readymade garment (RMG) will be benefitted most by introduction of Chittagong-Italy route.

“RMG sector will be able to export their goods within very short time, he said adding this route will open up a bright future for the country’s exporters, especially from the RMG industry.”

CPA Secretary Mohammed Omar Faruk said, “European ships used to take berth at Chittagong Port during 70s. The last time ship from Europe came in 1977. After long 44 years, Cap Florence loaded with 1,200 TUES containers cast anchor at the port on Thursday last. The ship left Chittagong Port with export containers on Saturday.”

Sources said Chittagong Port handles more than 92 per cent of Bangladesh’s export and import cargoes. CPA handled over 2.8 million (28 lakh) containers last year during the coronavirus outbreak.

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