A Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association (BCMA) delegation on Monday requested the Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, Chairman of Chattogram Port Authority, to increase the number of licensed ship handling operators to facilitate cargo unloading from the outer anchorage of the Chattogram port.
The delegation, led by BCMA President Md Alamgir Kabir, said some 32.5 million tonnes of raw materials used for cement production are unloaded annually from mother vessels at the outer anchorage, but there are only 32 ship handling operators that can potentially do the job.
Cement manufacturing companies that have their own licensed ship handling operators spend Tk27 to unload each tonne of goods. In contrast, companies who have to get their goods unloaded by others, outside ship handling operators, spend Tk52 per tonne.
With this kind of high difference in costs and only 32 operators available, many entrepreneurs and new companies are facing discrimination, members of the association claimed.
By increasing the number of ship handling operators at the outer anchorage of the port, the market will become more competitive to the benefit of all stakeholders, they added.