Container congestion at Chittagong port
Chittagong – Bangladesh’s prime port has been facing severe container congestions after the trailer operators called an indefinite strike, said officials on Friday.
The trailer operators at the Chittagong Port called the strike Monday to realize a set of their demands.
Chittagong Prime Mover-Trailer Owners Workers Unity Council, however, agreed to suspend their strike until October 4 to negotiate their demands with the government.
The representatives of the council came up with the declaration after a meeting Friday with Iqbal Bahar, commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police. They also talked to the Road Transport and Bridge Affairs Minister Obaidul Qader, who will hold a meeting on October 4 with the council leaders in Dhaka.
A total of 40,259 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers were stockpiled at the port yards exceeding its total of storing capacity of 36,357 TEUs of containers.
Of the stockpiled containers, as many as 7,550 containers stuck empty, according to the traffic department of Chittagong Port Authority.
The port, which deals the country’s major export import business, has been reeling under severe container congestions for the first time, said Zafar Alam, a member of the Chittagong Port Authority.
“We could not deliver the containers in the last few days because of the continuous strikes,” he said.
As the pressure of huge pile of imported containers are increasing so it has created a space crisis and hampering handling operations at the port, added the officer.
The exporters have been paying the heavy toll, said Sarwarul Islam, terminal manager of Chittagong Port Authority.
A number of export-oriented containers also got stuck at 16 private inland container depots in Chittagong due to the strike.
Abu Bakar Siddique, member secretary of Chittagong Prime Mover-Trailer Owners Workers Unity Council earlier had vowed to continue the strike.