RMG exports at high risk
Ayub Ali from Ctg: Export commodities worth over Tk3,000 crore remain stuck at the Inland Container Depots (ICDs) of Chattogram port as the nationwide transport strike, enforced by transporters against fuel price hike, has disrupted goods delivery for the third consecutive day.
No export product entered the port for loading from ICDs. Besides, goods-laden containers are not leaving the port due to strike.
About 9,700 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) of containers remained stranded in the ICDs waiting for shipping as vehicles did not enter the port from Friday to Sunday.Most of the products are ready made garments (RMG) exports.
Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA) estimated each TEU container holds products worth Tk40 lakh. In total, products worth around Tk3,000 crore are stuck in the ICDs.
BICDA Secretary General Ruhul Amin Sikder said, “Although some containers were shipped on Friday night, no containers were shipped on Saturday and Sunday. They are currently in 19 ICDs.”Meanwhile, the supply chain has also halted on the third day of the strike. The factory owners said the production in the industrial factories of the country is being disrupted as they are failing to take the supply of imported raw materials.
The lead time of product export has also been shortened by three days due to delay in delivery of raw materials in the readymade garment industry for the transport strike.
The garment industry owners are extremely worried whether they will be able to export their products as per the orders of foreign buyers.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) First Vice President Syed Nazrul Islam said export products of various RMG factories were brought to the ICDs in Chattogram from Dhaka on Saturday night with the help of highway police administration.
“If the crisis is not resolved by Sunday, RMG exporters will face huge financial losses. This type of movement [transport strike], by taking the economy hostage, is unwarranted,” he told.
Bangladesh Freight Forwarder Association Director Khairul AlamSujan said due to the untimely shipping of goods, it is uncertain whether the products will be delivered as per schedule to the buyer.”If the transport strike is not called off on Sunday, the situation will worsen,” he added.
Chattogram C&F Agents’ Association First Joint General Secretary Kazi Mahmud Imam Bilu said bill of entry submission at Chattogram Custom House is normal even though delivery at the port is closed.
“All activities are being carried out at normal pace on our part for customs duty on imported and exported goods. We are doing all the work related to tariffs so that the goods can be delivered quickly after the transport strike is lifted,” he told.
The government hiked diesel and kerosene prices by Tk15 to Tk80 per litre on Wednesday, citing a volatile global market for crude oil.
In response, public and goods transport owners and workers called an indefinite nationwide strike, demanding either a rise in fares or a reversal of the hike.
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