Chittagong Port Authority in October set a new all-time high record in handling number of containers in a month.
CPA secretary Omar Faruk told New Age on Wednesday that in October they had handled 2,36,415 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers.
‘It is a record in handling containers in a single month in the history of the port,’ he said.
The CPA’s previous record was 2,30,725 TEUs that was made in August this year, he added.
The port authority set the record against a backdrop of growing concerns among the senior shipping ministry officials over protracted container congestion at the port that has been hurting the country’s international trade.
At a meeting held on October 14 in Dhaka, shipping minister Shajahan Khan, admitting congestions at the port, said the port’s capacity to handle containers did not increase although the volumes of country’s exports and imports surged.
‘We will be able to start the operation of Patenga port in 2019, which will ease the present container congestions at the Chittagong port,’ he stated.
Chittagong port officials, however, said that the October record had been achieved due to installation of new machines and improving of operational facilities at the port.
Businesses on many occasions also said that incompetency of the Chittagong port was increasing the doing business cost and no steps were taken to reduce time and cost at the port though a lot of discussions were taken place on the issue.
According to the CPA, the port handled 14.68 lakh TEUs in 2010-2011, 13.43 lakh TEUs in 2011-12, 14.68 lakh TEUs in 2012-13, 16.25 lakh TEUs in 2013-14 and 18.67 lakh TEUs in 2014-15 fiscals.
The port was established at its present location in 1887 and by 1910, four jetties were constructed to handle 0.5 million tonnes of cargo annually.
Since then the port has grown gradually to its present shape.
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