Chattogram Port, country’s premier sea port ,has set an example by bringing down vessel congestions to almost zero level in its 130 years of history thanks to the government for installation of six gantry cranes for cargo handling, Agencies report.
There was no vessel waiting for berthing in the outer anchorage on last Wednesday, which is unprecedented and new message for the world shipping sector about the improvement of efficiency of Chattogram port, the gateway of the country’s overseas trade.
With the installation of six gantry cranes at the premier port at a cost of nearly Taka 350 crores, overall port activities, especially handling of in and out bound cargo, have enhanced by 30 percent on an average in comparison to the previous time.
Earlier, all vessels were seen in the inner berths either for unloading of bulk cargos and containers or loading cargos, containers simultaneously.
“But present scenario has remarkably been changed . . . best utilization of the recently procured handling equipments, the dynamism of port activities has gone up surprisingly” said Jafar Alam, member (Administration and Planning) of the port.
Talking to this correspondent, he said as a result of installation of new gantry cranes, the volume of import and export trade of the country will gradually increase through the Chattogram port.
Following the news published in media that Chattogram port will not be able to cope with the container handling situation in next two or three years, Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) took steps to procure modern container and cargo handling equipments from abroad to improve the capacity of the port.
President of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Mahbubul Alam expressed satisfaction over the recent improvement in the port activities and said only new berths and yards are not the major reasons to face the severe ship and container congestions rather the CPA needs quick and first capable handling the equipments.
CPA could not overcome the severe ship congestion for years due to lack of sufficient key gantry cranes, rail mounted gantry cranes, he said.
Meanwhile, Saif Power Tech, a port handler of CPA had been using four gantry cranes in Newmooring Container Terminal (NCT).
Though CPA constructed NCT container terminal in 2008 at a cost of Taka 500 crores but lack of equipments, the costly terminal remained idle for a long.
Jafar Alam said NCT is now able to handle five lakh Twenty Feet Equivalent Unites (TEUS) and if 10 new model gantry cranes are installed, it will be able to handle 15 lakh TUES.
Chairman of CPA Rear Admiral Zulfikar Aziz told journalists that no vessels are waiting in the outer berths and if any vessel reaches outer anchorage, will be given berthing immediately.
“The less congestion of vessels at CPA will brighten its image in world shipping sector and this port will soon rank one of the reputed ports across the globe,” said CPA Chairman.