Monday, 29 November, 2021

Transport strike disrupting goods delivery from Ctg port

The nationwide transport strike, enforced by transporters against fuel price hike, is seriously disrupting the movement of inbound and outbound goods-laden vehicles of Chattogram port, bringing goods delivery almost to a halt.

No vehicle has been seen entering the port for carrying the unloaded goods or leaving it since the early hours of Friday, said sources at the country’s largest port.

The port authority, however, said loading and unloading of containers and goods from vessels are normal at the jetty.

Bus, truck and van owners went on an indefinite strike from Friday in protest against fuel price hike.

Port secretary Md Omar Faruque said, “All the activities inside the port are normal. If the strike continues for a longer period, it’ll affect its activities for sure.”

Currently, vehicular movement to 19 private container depots in the city and nearby areas remained suspended and no public transport was seen plying the Dhaka-Chattogram highway, said the official.

According to the transportation department of the port, six container ships, three cargo ships, two clinker-cement-laden ships and another carrying food grain were anchored at the main jetty.

Of the 65 ships at outer anchorage, 39 have been already unloaded.

Meanwhile 9,000 export goods carrying containers, 8,000 import goods containers and 33,000 vacant containers were kept off docks.

Around 4,000 vehicles used to ply from off-docks 19 and now the number has come down to half while that of vehicles carrying export goods from different factories to the port have also declined sharply, said Ruhul Amin Sikder, Secretary General of Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA).

An official, who is in-charge of Chattogram Container Terminal and New Mooring Terminal, said the delivery of imported goods from the port has declined to 5% in these two days.

Thousands of vehicles are waiting at different yards, sheds, terminals and depots after paying tax, completing physical tests and all other procedures of unloading due to this strike, said AKM Akter Hossain, president of Chattogram Customs C&F Agents’ Association.

President of Chattogram Chamber Mahbubul Alam said, “Going on a strike without any ultimatum when the economy just started recovering from the fallouts of Covid-19 pandemic is unexpected. We’re expecting a logical solution to return by today (Saturday) through discussions.”

Meanwhile, commuters continued to suffer in the port city on the second day of the ongoing transport strike.