||Containers handled (in TEUs)
Chattogram port has climbed up six notches to become the 58th busiest port among the world's top 100 container ports–in terms of annual container transport in 2019–according to Lloyd's List, one of the world's oldest shipping journals.
Previously, the port held 64th place.
The latest edition of Lloyd's List One Hundred Ports was published recently.
Chairman of Chattogram Port Authority Rear Admiral SM Abul Kalam Azad told The Business Standard, "The prime minister and the government have a positive view of Chattogram Port. Also, contributions of the shipping minister and some others are undeniable."
"All the stakeholders of the port are contributing to its progress. I sincerely thank everyone for this. Container transport will increase further after the completion of the ongoing construction of the Bay Terminal of Chattogram Port and Matarbari Port. Then, the position of Chattogram Port on Lloyd's List will advance further," he added.
Since 2014, Chattogram port has been gradually advancing its position on Lloyd's List as one of the world's busiest ports. That year, it ranked 87th, handling around 1.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs).
In 2019, the port handled over three million TEUs.
Two ports of neighbouring India–Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Mundra Port–secured 33rd and 37th position respectively while Sri Lanka's Colombo port ranked 24th.
Chattogram port is 27 positions ahead of Pakistan's Karachi Port, which ranked 85th.
China's Shanghai Port topped the list handling 43,303,000 TEUs while Singapore holds the second position, with the handling of 37,195,636 TEUs.
In Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City Port and Hai Phong Port ranked 25th and 31st, handling 7,220,377 TEUs and 5,133,150 TEUs, respectively.
According to sources, 98 percent of total container transportation through sea in Bangladesh is carried out via Chattogram Port. About 27 percent of the goods transported to the port are carried through containers.
Business leaders have demanded port services be increased to cope with the 10-20 percent annual container handling growth.
Mahbubul Alam, president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Business Standard, "The continuous growth of container handling at Chattogram port makes us understand that we have to take more preparations to cope with the growth of trade and economy in the country."
"The port has to complete all the ongoing projects, such as the Bay Terminal and the Patenga Container Terminal, soon. It has to reduce the turnaround time and delays in berthing," he added.
"I do believe once the Bay Terminal construction is finished, the port will rank among the top 10. Moreover, the Ho Chi Minh City Port of Vietnam, which is our competitor, ranked 25th. We have to increase services at the port keeping that in mind," added Alam, also the president of the Port Users' Forum.
He said there is no other way but to increase the port's efficiency to achieve the annual export target of $60 billion.
Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association Director Khairul Alam Sujan told The Business Standard, "To attract investors, we have to reduce berthing time and delivery time. The port should add all modern equipment to handle containers swiftly and to increase efficiency."