Seagoing container shippers of Bangladesh have urged both the Bangladeshi and Indian governments to allow them to carry goods of third countries for the sake of saving time and money and facilitating the industry to thrive.
Under the current agreement on coastal shipping signed between Bangladesh and India last year, the local (both Bangladeshi and Indian) vessels are allowed to carry the goods only of the two countries in the recognised ports or port of calls.
Since the local vessels cannot carry a third country’s goods, the international main line operators (MLOs) — like Maersk, Hyundai and Hapag-Lloyd — that carry goods from the US, the EU and other countries do not unload the Bangladesh-bound goods at the Indian ports.
Rather, the MLOs take the Bangladesh-bound goods to other ports like Singapore, Colombo or Kelang, where they are stacked in the terminals for at least a month before they are carried to Bangladesh in small vessels.
It takes at least a week for the goods to arrive at the Chittagong or Mongla ports from abroad, said Shaikh Mahfuz Hamid, managing director of Gulf Orient Seaways, a local container shipping line operator.
So in total, it takes about 45 days to carry those goods to Bangladesh.
Read more on The Daily Star.