Steps to expedite container handling

Dhaka,  Thu,  17 August 2017
Published : 02 Aug 2017, 22:41:29
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Steps to expedite container handling

CPA chief sits with off-dock operators
Our Correspondent

CHITTAGONG, Aug 02: A crucial meeting of the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), off-dock owners and cargo handling operators of the port decided today to expedite handling and delivery of containerised cargo with procurement of sufficient equipment by the off-docks owners alongside the port authority.

The CPA will provide an export yard of at least 1000 TEUs (twenty foot equivalent units) at the CCT (Chittagong Container Terminal) and NCT (New Mooring Container Terminal) within a short time and will transfer 4200 TEUs of containers meant for auction to the newly-built Silo Yard.

The meeting was told that neither CCT nor NCT has any export yard at present for export containers to facilitate the ICDs to go directly to the vessels' hook point to load export containers onto vessels.

Chaired by the CPA chairman Rear Admiral M Khaled Iqbal, the meeting was addressed, among others, by Bangladesh Inland Container Depot Association (BICDA) chairman Nurul Qayyum Khan, heads of different ICDs, managing director of Saif Powertec Tarafdar Ruhul Amin, president of Berth Operators and Ship Handling Operators Fazle Ikram, members of the CPA Board and senior officials of the CPA.

The meeting was held at the CPA Board Room in the city today following allegations from the port users that export and import through the port suffered a lot in the last few months due to congestion of containers and vessels, even leading to cancellation of export orders by the international buyers of readymade garments.

The Rear Admiral asked the off-docks operators to install scanners at their yards to prevent contraband items moving through the port.

BICDA chairman Nurul Qayyum Khan said the import containers should be scanned immediately after arrival at the port.

"If the off-docks-bound import containers are allowed to exit the port without scanning, in-transit security would be at stake. There would then be a likelihood that the miss-declared, contraband or terror-related items could get into the country," he said.

As for the ICD Policy 2016 the BICDA chairman said that during the drafting of the ICD Policy 2016, BICDA raised 13 reservations about the concerned sections citing that these sections were neither practical nor implementable under the present circumstances and they need to be amended. But those reservations of BICDA were not accommodated, he said.

The meeting decided that the off-docks operators will procure sufficient number of equipment as per ICD Policy 2016. They will also try to expand their operational areas.

The meeting further resolved that the ICDs will impose container freight station (CFS) cut-off time for exporters, mostly members of the BGMEA for sending export cargo to the ICDs so that the ICDs can maintain cut-off time for sending export laden containers to the Chittagong port.

The ICDs will send export laden containers to the port between berthing of vessel and six hours before their sailing. The ICDs will also try to take out import laden containers of their designated 37 items at the shortest possible time.

The ICDs must also send authentic 24-hour Stuffing Report to the CPA.

Meanwhile, the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) today emphasised on the scanning of every container in the Chittagong port to check infiltration of contraband items including arms and ammunition.

Chairman of the ACC Iqbal Mahmud alleged Wednesday that many containers were getting out of the Chittagong port without being properly scanned.

He said that he had received a number of allegations regarding delivery of containers without scanning, which is highly risky.

He urged the port authorities to get every container scanned before delivery. He was addressing the field officers on "The Nature of Allegations of Corruption" at Chittagong Circuit House in the city.

Presided over by Divisional Commissioner Md Ruhul Amin the meeting was also attended by Additional Divisional Commissioner Shankar Ranjan Saha, DG of the ACC Dr Shamsul Arefin, Deputy Commissioner of Chittagong Md Zillur Rahman Chowdhury and Police Commissioner Iqbal Bahar.

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