In the span of only one month into the inauguration of Padma Bridge, apparel makers started exporting RMG products through Mongla port thanks to the port’s modern facilities and comparative advantage.
Maersk Nesna, a Panamanian-flagged ship carrying apparel products from 17 Bangladeshi RMG exporters, left the port for Poland at around at 11:30 am on Thursday.
“It is a red-letter day for us as garment shipment through our port has begun only one month after the opening of Padma Bridge,” an upbeat Mongla Port Authority (MPA) Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Musa told the media.
He informed that the ship would directly go to Poland with 540 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit (TEUs) containers carrying readymade garment items from Bangladesh.
“With the direct link established between Dhaka and Mongla port, the port is going to be an alternative to Chattogram port, which will play a key role in the country’s econimic development,” he added.
The 6.15km mega bridge on the mighty River Padma, inaugurated on June 25, has shortened Dhaka-Mongla Port’s distance to only 170 kilometers. The distance between Dhaka and Chattagram is 260 kilometers.
Businessmen have said export-import through Mongla Port is easier because of faster cargo handling at Mongla Port which has save their cost and time.
In response to the call, the Mongla Port Authority also said they would try to gradually enhance the port facilities.
Immediately after the opening of Padma Bridge, BGMEA leaders said they would try to use the country’s second largest port as it would help cut lead time.
The port authorities also predicted that export-import through Mongla port will increase manifolds once vehicular movement fully starts through the bridge.
In recent years, the port has gone through a number of development activities to improve its capacity in consideration of potentially higher trade through the port after completion of Padma Bridge.
Now, the port is capable of handling 42 ships at a time supported by six government jetties, 11 private jetties, three mooring buoys and 22 anchorages. Besides, Mongla port has four transit sheds, two warehouses, four container yards.
With these developments, the port can now handle 10 million metric tonnes of cargo, one lakh TEUs containers and 20,000 imported cars per year, according to MPA data.
Currently, eight development projects are underway involving Tk 88.52 billion to further enhance the capacity of the port.
Clearing and forwarding and shipping agents said after this first RMG shipment, businessmen will growingly take more interest in apparel export though Mongla port cargo loading and unloading takes much time at Chattogram port due to huge volume of pressure there.