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MSC launches new service from China to Chittagong

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has decided to start new direct service from South China to Chittagong amid a severe logjam created in transhipment ports in Colombo and Singapore.

The new service namely "Bengal Service" is expected to give relief to Bangladeshi importers from transhipment delays and costs as containers will be unloaded at Chittagong after being boarded from China instead of leaving them in transhipment ports.

Usually, MSC's vessels leave Chittagong bound containers at Colombo, Singapore, and Port of Tanjung Pelepas from where feeder ships carry them to Chittagong port.

The first sailing of the weekly service by MSC Kymea will be on 27 April. The service rotation will be: Hong Kong- Yantian- Shekou - Singapore - Tanjung Pelepas-Chittagong - Singapore - Tanjung Pelepas - Hong Kong.

“The new service will provide customers with a direct link between South China and Chittagong. In addition, the service will also enable connections for Bangladesh imports and exports via our transhipment hubs in Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas,” said MSC in a statement.

Bangladesh, the second-largest apparel exporter worldwide, imports the majority of its raw materials from China. These raw materials need to be reached to the factories in time to produce goods for Europe and American markets for their timely shipment.

Any disruption in their transportation leads to swing delay leading to shipment failure and order cancellation or the factory owner needs to send the consignments by using costly air shipment.

Currently, Colombo port is seeing a severe logjam where containers meant for transhipment remain stuck for up to 25 days to be boarded into a Chittagong bound feeder vessel. Also from Singapore, such boxes need to wait nearly 15 days to be cleared towards Chittagong port.

Sharar Nayel
Asia Correspondent

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