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Bank & Finance - January 3, 2024

Vessel and container handling decreased

Ayub Ali: The ongoing dollar crisis has reduced the import and export of the country. In this, the arrival of ships through the country’s main seaport has decreased by 256 and container handling has decreased by about 92 thousand TUS. And if the dollar crisis does not end, the traders fear that the LC opening rate will decrease further. This may lead to negative growth in ship handling and container handling activities for the current year.
According to Chittagong port information, industrial raw materials, capital equipment, commercial goods are all brought in containers in the country. Again, almost all of the export products by sea are sent in containers. 98 percent of the country’s total containers are transported through Chittagong port. In the outgoing year 2023, 30.50 million containers (each 20 feet long) were transported through Chittagong port; Which was transported in 2022 31.32 lakh. That is, the number of containers has decreased by 91,711. The port authority gave this calculation by adding the number of container transports at the main jetty of these container ports, Kamalapur Container Depot in Dhaka and Pangaon Naval Terminal in Keraniganj. In this list, import-export cargo and empty containers have been calculated. On the other hand, the entire import and export products of the country come by ship. Last year 2023 Chittagong port handled 4,103 ships; Which in 2022 total ship handling was 4,361. That is, 256 ships have been handled less. As a result, by calculating the number of container and ship handling of this port, an idea of the dynamics of the country’s economy can be obtained.
Officials of Chittagong Port said that due to the impact of the dollar and the global crisis, sea trade has decreased. It has reduced ship handling and transportation of containerized goods. Again, the import of goods has decreased slightly due to the control of the import of unnecessary goods. However, the capacity and service quality of the port has increased even though the cargo transportation has decreased. Product is being delivered quickly.
Mohammad Mohiuddin, a consumer goods importer and business leader told that the rate of opening of LCs started to decrease at the end of 2022 mainly due to the dollar crisis. As a result, in 2023, due to the dollar crisis, the import of goods continues to decrease. As a result of all this, Chittagong Port has seen negative growth in the outgoing year as well, which is normal. And if the availability of dollars is not normal, the import will also decrease in 2024. Considering these things Bangladesh Bank should take policy.

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