Several hundred export containers have become stuck in a container depot as the drivers and assistants of nearly 100 prime movers of the large box depot in Chittagong have enforced work abstention since 30 September.
During the last six days, many vessels left jetties without taking designated containers as they did not reach the hook points in time from the depot.
At the same time, several hundred import boxes, designated for the depot, have become stockpiled at the port yards since the prime movers are not carrying boxes to the depot.
Usually, approximately 400 containers are being carried to and from the depot per day.
The prime movers drivers working in the depot namely the KDS Logistics Ltd enforced the strike demanding appointment letter, gratuity, and less working hours.
The drivers on Monday (4 October) set in a meeting with the chairman of the Chittagong Port Authority and agreed to resume work. However, after returning to the depot they did not join work and continued the strike.
Deputy General Manager of KDS Logistics Ltd Jahangir Alam said talks are underway to resolve the impasse since the export side is suffering severely due to the strike.
According to port sector officials, at least 700 export boxes missed their designated vessels during the last six days of the strike. Officials said at least 11 vessels had to miss their containers thus sailed under capacity.
At the same time, they noted that 2,500 export goods-laden containers have become stuck inside the depot since the drivers stopped working.
A Chittagong-based apparel exporter believes export-oriented sectors becoming hostage to the drivers of the vehicles which is hampering business and destroying the image of the country.
He claimed truckers and covered van owners had enforced last month a three-day strike that had created a stockpile of containers in depots and port yards. “We can’t support a strike that makes the export sector hostage,” he pointed out.
According to Muntasir Rubayat, head of operations at GBX Logistics Ltd, three of his vessels left port jetties leaving behind 405TEU during the last six days long strike.