This year, it took 2.46 days or 59.04 hours for a container ship to unload goods and load new products (turnaround time) after berthing at the Chattogram Port, the shortest time in six years.
In 2016, the turnaround time of a container ship at the port was 2.87 days or 68.88 hours.
The mobility of Chattogram Port has increased more than any time before as the time of unloading of goods, after arriving of the ship at the jetty from the outer anchorage of the port, has decreased. Traders have benefited from the increased mobility of this major seaport of the country. The ships did not have to wait long at the jetty which ultimately increased the container handling capacity of the port.
Not only that, Chattogram Port, which is in the 67th position in the Lloyds list, handled 32,14,558 TEUS (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit) containers in 2021. This is the highest container handling record in the 133-year history of the port, which went into operation on April 25, 1888.
According to the latest data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in 2020, the turnaround time of a container ship was 1.8 days in China, 1.42 days in India, 1 day in Malaysia and 0.7 day in Singapore.
Chattogram Port officials say the port's turnaround time will be reduced in the next few years like the ports of neighbouring countries.
In 2021, the total cargo handling in the port was 11,77,24,238 metric tonnes while 4199 ships arrived at the port in the year.
In addition to container handling, this container port of the country has surpassed all records in every field including cargo handling and turnaround time.
The port authorities say this achievement was due to the cooperation of all officials and employees of the port during the pandemic when 53 officials and employees of the port died due to corona infection while trying to keep the port active.
In 2019, for the first time, the country's main seaport set the record of 3 million TEUs single container handling. The following year, in 2020, due to the low handling caused by the pandemic, the port dropped out of the three million club, handling 2.8 million TEUs containers.
Mahbubul Alam, president of the Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Business Standard, "The Chattogram Port is the heart of the country's economy. Any achievement of this port means that the country's economy is moving forward. However, it is very important to maintain the continuity of this success."
In 2013, this port was ranked 86th in the Lloyds list of the 100 busiest ports in the world. Since then, the position of the port continued to improve. Port officials believe that the port's position will reach 50 in 2021, after setting the record in container handling.
Rakibul Alam Chowdhury, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the country's exports have increased after tackling the impact of the pandemic. This has also increased the import of raw materials for the readymade garment industry. This success of Chattogram Port will also create a positive perception of Bangladesh among foreign garment buyers.
About 92% of the total import and export trade of the country is carried out through Chattogram Port while about 98% of the cargo containers transported through all the seaports of Bangladesh are transported through this seaport. About 25% of the goods imported and exported through this port are transported through containers. The remaining 75% is moved by bulk carriers.