The berthing time of a ship is around 24 hours to a maximum of three days at all the major ports in the world, but it is much more at Chattogram port.
We import cotton in huge quantities from India and each consignment has 25-30 containers. The transhipment of our containers from mother vessels to feeder vessels is done at places like Singapore, Colombo etc. No mother vessel comes here.
And after unloading we cannot find containers easily. Our exportable products are not loaded promptly due to a shortage of ships or containers.
All these increase our port charges. We have been talking about these problems for a long time with the shipping ministry and the minister. But they are not listening to us.
Once it took seven to 15 days to clear products from the port, but now it takes nearly a month, increasing the cost of business.
The port is controlled by a few businessmen, who are part of a mafia syndicate. They waste our time. Sometimes they put our containers in different depots. All these irregularities cost us money. And the money goes to their pockets.
Shipping agents around the world are well aware of these problems at Chattogram Port. We want automation to bring a solution to them.
Bangladesh's ranking on the ease of doing business index has improved by 10 notches in the last two years to 168th this year. If the problems at the port are addressed, the country's position will be elevated further.