The Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) is considering installing an overhead container transportation system. Once implemented, it will replace the manual, dirty reliance on diesel trucks with a short-haul, suspended overhead container movement system that lifts containers from ships and shuttles them to local yards.
A US-based container logistics service provider, EagleRail has shown interest in implementing two pilot projects at Chattogram Port.
Under the projects, the company will build two overhead transportation systems — one from New Mooring Container Terminal to a private depot and another to the delivery yard.
The first route, stretching from the New Mooring Container Terminal to the Inland Container Depot (ICDs) of Eshaque Brothers, will be 1.5 kilometres long. The second one will be one-kilometre-long, connecting the New Mooring Container Terminal to the delivery yard.
The port authority is currently battered with container gridlock while frequent traffic congestion on the roads make matters worse.
More than 5,000 trucks and covered vans enter the port every day, and these have to face heavy traffic jams when entering or exiting the port.
A three-member Chattogram Port Authority team led by its Member (Admin) Zafar Alam visited the United States recently to meet the EagleRail mamagement.
They reached an understanding for setting up the state of the art technology at the port. The pilot projects will take nearly four years to complete.
Secretary of the port Omar Faruk told The Business Standard that once the overhead container system is introduced, containers will come in to the terminals and go out to the yard in the shortest time possible.
"The company will invest in the pilot projects. If the projects are effective, we will build another overhead transportation system at the bay terminal," said the secretary.
He said the port authorities are examining the proposal and hope to sign the Memorandum of Understanding soon.
In the meantime, Mahbubul Alam, the president of the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry told The Business Standard that they welcome any positive decision to accelerate business through the port.
"The new system will reduce the turnaround time. However, the port authority should study its merits and demerits before stepping into the project," he noted.