Five more vessels to ply Colombo route to ease export backlog


Five more container vessels will ply the Chattogram-Colombo route shortly to ease the export cargo backlog at container depots based in Chattogram.

These vessels belong to global shipping giants Maersk Line, MSC, Express and Sea Lead. MSC or Mediterranean Shipping Company, the world’s second largest shipping company, will introduce two vessels on the route while others one each, according to shipping companies.

MCC Tokyo, owned by Maersk Line, is expected to take berth at Chittagong port within a couple of days while others may come this week.

The five vessels have an aggregate capacity of nearly 5,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), according to senior shipping executives working in Dhaka and Chattogram.

With new vessels, the total number of ships plying between Chattogram and Colombo will stand at 22.

A senior traffic official at Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) told the FE: “We’ve received applications from four shipping companies for allowing their operations on the Ctg-Colombo route.”

He said these five vessels belonging to four shipping giants will help ease the export cargo backlog at the depots.

Earlier in a meeting with all stakeholders, CPA asked the shipping lines to raise the number of vessels meant for the Ctg-Colombo route as most of the cargoes which remained stockpiled at the depots were destined for Colombo.

However, the export cargo backlog at 17depots in Chattogram eased on Friday. As of Friday, the export backlog stood at 14,049 TEUs. It was 15,968 on Thursday.

Md. Ruhul Amin Sikder, secretary general at the Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA) told the FE: “We expect that operation of new vessels on the Ctg-Colombo route will ease the backlog.”

CPA has also opened a new jetty for container vessels totalling 12 which, he believes, will play an important role in easing the backlog situation.