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Liverpool is latest on the list of Chattogram’s direct freight routes

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CHATTOGRAM : Liverpool’s tie with the greater Bengal region dates back to the colonial era before Queen Victoria took over the reins from the East India Company, because of Indigo plantations and its connection with the booming post-Industrial Revolution economy of the English maritime mercantile city.

That maritime link between the two regions was reinvigorated on Friday when a ship, for the first time from Chattogram port, left for Liverpool directly, with 182 twenty-foot equivalent units, more commonly known as TEU in shipping jargon, of containers.

The ship, known as MV Amo, will eventually dock in the Netherland’s Rotterdam after making a stoppage at Liverpool, making it the second direct shipping destination between Bangladesh and Europe, confirms a local representative of the British operator of the ship, Allseas Global Logistics.

The representative, Captain Sohail Hasnat of Phoenix Shipping, has said the ship left the NCT Jetty of Chattogram Port, the country’s main import-export hub, around 12:30pm and will reach Liverpool port within 21-22 days.

The Chattogram Port Authority, or the CPA, has so far allowed three ships to operate between the Chattogram to Liverpool, and then to the Rotterdam route.

Earlier on Feb 24, Songa Cheetah, a 147.84 metre-long Liberian-flagged container ship, reached the Italian port of Ravenna on the Adriatic Sea, only 17 days after sailing from Chattogram port in first-ever direct shipping from Bangladesh to Europe.

A Swiss shipping agency is scheduled to start operating large container vessels straight from the dock of Chattogram port to Barcelona and Rotterdam this month.

With the introduction of these Europe-bound freight forwarding services, exporters in Bangladesh, especially apparel manufacturers, are optimistic that they can shave off almost half of the shipping time

Shipping agencies in Bangladesh have been using smaller freighters, or feeder vessels, to carry containers to ports in Sri Lanka’s Colombo, Singapore, Port Kelang and Tanjung Pelepas from Chattogram port and load the containers onto larger mother vessels there.

The mother vessels then carry the said containers to the destination. This process usually takes 30-35 days.

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