The Chittagong Port Authority has instituted strict limits on how long a ship may remain in port, aiming at quicker loading and unloading of containers to reduce acute congestion and improve productivity.
This forces some vessels to leave the port even if some containers booked for that sailing have not yet been loaded. If any vessel fails to load or unload containers within the stipulated time, the vessel will have to leave the jetty and complete the rest of the job at the port’s outer channel. The port authority has also commenced 24/7 operations to ease the backlog of containers.
Under the new timetable, a gearless container vessel is allowed to stay at berth for 48 hours for unloading and loading containers. Smaller geared vessels, those with cranes on board, are allowed to remain at berth for 60 hours while the largest geared vessels have been allotted 72 hours in port. The window is tightest for gearless vessels because of an accident that took out half of the port’s ship-to-shore gantry crane capacity and has been a major contributor to this latest bout of congestion.
The port authority has also mandated that containers must be in the terminal yard six hours prior to a vessel’s departure, an increase from the previous requirement of three hours. Every day nearly 5,000 trucks and covered vans enter the port with goods. At least 700 export containers have been left in the port since Saturday because they did not arrive at the port in time.
As of Wednesday, some 20 vessels were waiting in the outer channel of the port, with an average wait time to enter the port between five and seven days. That compares to average waits of 33 hours at Singapore and 41 hours at Colombo. The chronic delays and congestion at Chittagong have some shippers considering alternative modes of transportation.
Under the above mentioned circumstances shippers have been advised that Delmar’s LCL CFS cut-off has been advanced by 2 days in order to have cargo loaded into containers ready for boarding onto feeder vessels as they arrive and depart the port, often times off schedule.
Delmar will continue to monitor the situation and handle ocean freight cargo movements as events allow, however due to continuing port congestion and off schedule feeder vessel sailings resulting in missed mother vessel connections, some delays may occur.
For additional information please contact your local Delmar representative.