India can use ports in Ctg, Sylhet for better connectivity: PM
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 19, 2023) said that India can use ports in Chattogram and Sylhet if they want. The Prime Minister said this while Member of the Governing Council of India Foundation, Ram Madhav, called on her at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM’s Deputy Press Secretary KM Shakhawat Moon briefed reporters after the meeting. Sheikh Hasina said that the government puts emphasis on regional connectivity which will result in better people-to-people ties. Also read: Teen gangs must be stopped: PM The PM conveyed her greetings to the Indian Prime Minister during her meeting with Ram Madhav. The member of the Governing Council of India Foundation highly appreciated the socioeconomic advancement of Bangladesh under the leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina. He said that Bangladesh and India have excellent friendship as neighbouring countries and hoped that the relation will continue in the coming days. Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present during the event. Read More: Be vigilant against food hoarding, black-marketing: PM
Operation of Matarbari deep sea port to start in 2026: state minister
The operation of Matarbari deep sea port will start in 2026, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Sunday. The Matarbari deep sea port is visible now and the construction work of the jetty and container yard will start in July next, he said while talking to reporters after visiting the Matarbari port development activities. Once the sea port starts operation, large feeder vessels will be anchored at the port which will save time and money, he said adding, the Matarbari sea port will be turned into a commercial hub. The state minister the government took the Matarbari Port Development Project involving Tk 17,777.20 crore and the tenure of the project was set till December 31, 2026. Currently, the authorities have completed the drawing design of the project. Read more: Govt positive about Singapore company's 400MW Matarbari solar power plant proposal: Nasrul Already the construction work of a 350 metre wide, 16 metre deep and 14.30 kilometre long approach channel has been completed while the construction work of a 2,150 metre long break water ( one kind of dam) on the northern side of the port and 670 metre long break water on the southern side of the port also finished, said Khalid. Asheq Ullah Rafiq MP, chairman of Chattogram port Rear Admiral M Shahjahan and coordinator of Matarbari port project Md Yusuf were present there.
Accommodating bigger vessels at Ctg port: Trial run on Sunday
A large container vessel having a draught of 10 metres and length of 200 metres will anchor at the Chittagong Port for the first time on trial basis on Sunday, according to Chattogram port officials. Enhancement of the port’s berthing capabilities will increase its container handling capacity, reduce transport costs and turnaround times- the time required for loading and unloading of goods at the port, they said. The port authorities have completed all kinds of preparations including increasing the depth of the Karnaphuli River estuary and skills development training of the operators. According to the port authorities, vessels having only 9.5 metres draught and 195 metres length have been anchored at the port jetty since 2015. However, after receiving a positive response from the survey of UK-based consultancy firm 'HR Wallingford', the port took the initiative to handle larger vessels. The 10-metre draught ships will be able to carry 3,500 TEUs containers to the port and bring down the overall cargo handling costs. Chief Hydrographer of Chittagong port authority Commander Arifur Rahman, said in view of the report provided by the research institute, the large vessels' berthing trial run will begin on Sunday. "If it becomes successful in this trial operation, the port will soon notify local and global shipping companies to operate bigger vessels on this route. Later, we will allow berthing when big ships arrive, added the commander" Also Read: Freight operation from Ctg suspended as lighter vessel workers on strike With the development, Chattogram port will notify shipping companies for allowing ships with bigger draught on this route, said Khairul Alam Suzan, vice-president of the Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association. Bigger ships will reduce the cost of import-export significantly and huge money will be saved annually, he said. Having the capacity to handle larger vessels is essential for expanding trade, he said adding people involved sector and export-import trade have long been demanding an increase in the berthing capacity of the Chattogram port but the port authorities did not do it without a proper survey, he added.
FBCCI wants testing lab at ports for ease of doing business
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) has called for setting up testing labs at the ports to ensure the faster delivery of imported goods and products and uninterrupted production. Products imported through Chattagram port are sent to the capital for testing, which takes weeks or months – delaying the delivery, increasing the cost of business, and disrupting production, FBCCI President Md Jashim Uddin said Wednesday at a meeting in Dhaka. Earlier, the members of the FBCCI Standing Committee on Port and Shipping said customs officials are "enthusiastic" to penalise importers for unintentional HS Code mistakes as they receive 15 percent incentives on the fines imposed. They called for the withdrawal of the incentives and suggested bringing the entire system online to make HS code entry of products easy and accurate. Also read: Economic zones can turn Bangladesh into global investment destination: FBCCI
8-metre draught vessel docks at Mongla for first time
A container ship with an 8-metre draught, the first of its size, docked at Mongla port Monday. The 186-metre long MCC Tokyo arrived from China's Shanghai. It moored at jetty No. 5 of the port with 289 containers, carrying goods weighing 7,241 metric tonnes, at 2:15pm, the Mongla Port Authority said. The unloading of the consignment from the ship started at 3:30pm. "The ship will leave the port after reloading goods. It was a trial run showing that ships with 8-metre draughts can also anchor at the port," Syed Zahid Hossain, local shipping agent of MCC Tokyo and managing director of Sun Trade, said. The ship will leave the port for China Wednesday after reloading goods. "MV Tokyo was the first ship of its size to anchor at Mongla port. It has been possible due to dredging. Previously all the ships that anchored at the jetties did not have a draught of more than seven metres," Zahid said. Also read: Fourth Russian shipment for Rooppur arrives at Mongla Port
Trade through Benapole land port suspended for Janmasthami
Export and import activities between Bangladesh and India remained suspended since Thursday morning due to Janmashtami, a religious festival of the Hindu community. Abdul Jalil, deputy director of Benapole land port, said the trade activities between the two countries remained suspended since morning as there is a holiday on the both sides due to Janmashtami celebration. The trade activities will resume on Saturday, he said. However, the immigration activities are going on as usual. Read: Export-import through Benapole land port halted
Russia denies attacks on Ukrainian port after grain deal: Turkish minister
Russian officials had told Ankara that Russia had "nothing to do" with the attacks on Ukraine's key Black Sea port of Odessa, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday. "In our contact with Russia, the Russians told us that they had absolutely nothing to do with these attacks and that they were examining the issue very closely and in detail," Akar told Türkiye's state-run Anadolu Agency. "The fact that such an incident happened right after the agreement we made yesterday regarding the grain shipment worried us," he said. Akar said he also had phone conversations with Ukrainian ministers and received information regarding the incident. The Ukrainian military said that Russian missiles hit infrastructure in Odesa on Saturday. A missile hit one of the silos in Odesa and another fell in an area close to the silo. The attack had not compromised the port's ability to load cargo and that grain exports could go on, according to Akar. Türkiye has sent the two countries a message, in which it said it would like to see both sides continue their cooperation "calmly and patiently" under the agreement signed on Friday, the minister said. Türkiye would continue to fulfil its responsibilities in the agreement, he stressed. The Black Sea Grain Initiative, signed respectively by Russia and Ukraine on Friday with Türkiye under the auspices of the UN in Istanbul, would allow significant volumes of commercial food and fertilizer exports from three key ports in the Black Sea -- Odesa, Chernomorsk, and Yuzhny, the UN said in a statement on its website. Read: Russia hits Ukraine's Black Sea port despite grain deal
Russia hits Ukraine's Black Sea port despite grain deal
Russian missiles hit Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa just hours after Moscow and Kyiv signed deals to allow grain exports to resume from there. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry denounced Saturday's airstrikes as “spit in the face” of Turkey and the United Nations, which brokered the agreements. Two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles hit the port's infrastructure and Ukrainian air defenses brought down two others, the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said. Command spokeswoman Nataliya Humenyuk said no grain storage facilities were hit and she said there were no immediate reports of injuries. “It took less than 24 hours for Russia to launch a missile attack on Odesa’s port, breaking its promises and undermining its commitments before the U.N. and Turkey under the Istanbul agreement,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said. “In case of non-fulfillment, Russia will bear full responsibility for a global food crisis.” Nikolenko described the missile strike on the 150th day of Russia’s war in Ukraine as Russian President Vladimir Putin's “spit in the face of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who made great efforts to reach agreement.” Guterres' office said the U.N. chief “unequivocally condemns” the strikes. “Yesterday, all parties made clear commitments on the global stage to ensure the safe movement of Ukrainian grain and related products to global markets,” the Guterres statement said. “These products are desperately needed to address the global food crisis and ease the suffering of millions of people in need around the globe. Full implementation by the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Turkey is imperative.” During a Friday signing ceremony in Istanbul, Guterres hailed the deals to open Ukraine's ports in Odesa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny to commercial food exports as "a beacon of hope, a beacon of possibility, a beacon of relief in a world that needs it more than ever.” Read: ‘A beacon of hope’: Ukraine, Russia sign grain export deal The agreements sought to clear the way for the shipment of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain and some Russian exports of grain and fertilizer that have been blocked by the war. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, but Russia’s invasion of the country and naval blockade of its ports halted shipments. Documents obtained by The Associated Press showed the deals called for the creation of a U.N.-led joint coordination center in Istanbul where officials from Ukraine, Russia, Turkey would oversee the scheduling and searches of cargo ships. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address that the agreements offered “a chance to prevent a global catastrophe – a famine that could lead to political chaos in many countries of the world, in particular in the countries that help us.” The head of Zelenskyy's office, Andriy Yermak, said on Twitter that the Odesa strike coming so soon after the endorsement of the Black Sea ports deal illustrated "the Russian diplomatic dichotomy.” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, denounced the Russian strike on the port of Odesa as “outrageous.” "The Kremlin continues to weaponize food," she tweeted. “Russia must be held to account.” Along with the strike on Odesa, Russia's military fired a barrage of missiles Saturday at an airfield and a railway facility in central Ukraine, killing at least three people, while Ukrainian forces launched rocket strikes on river crossings in a Russian-occupied southern region. The attacks on key infrastructure marked new attempts by the warring parties to tip the scales of the grinding conflict in their favor. In Ukraine's central Kirovohradska region, 13 Russian missiles struck an airfield and a railway facility. Gov. Andriy Raikovych said at least one serviceman and two guards were killed and another 16 people were wounded in the strikes near the city of Kirovohrad. In the southern Kherson region, which Russian troops seized early in the invasion, Ukrainian forces preparing for a potential counteroffensive fired rockets at Dnieper River crossings to try to disrupt supplies to the Russians. Still, Russian troops have largely held their ground in the Kherson region just north of the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Fighting raged unabated in eastern Ukraine's industrial heartland of the Donbas, where Russian forces tried to make new gains in the face of stiff Ukrainian resistance. Earlier this week, the Ukrainians bombarded the Antonivskyi Bridge across the Dnieper River using the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, Kirill Stremousov, deputy head of the Russia-appointed regional administration in Kherson, said. Stremousov told Russian state news agency Tass that the only other crossing of the Dnieper, the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, also came under attack from rockets launched with the weapons supplied by Washington but wasn't damaged. HIMARS, which can fire GPS-guided rockets at targets 80 kilometers (50 miles) away, out of reach of most Russian artillery systems, have significantly bolstered the Ukrainian strike capability. In addition, Ukrainian forces shelled an automobile bridge across the Inhulets River in the village of Darivka, Stremousov told Tass. He said the bridge just east of the regional capital of Kherson sustained seven hits but remained open. Stremousov said that unlike the Antonivskyi Bridge, the small bridge in Darivka has no strategic value. Since April, the Kremlin has concentrated on capturing the Donbas, a mostly Russian-speaking region of eastern Ukraine where pro-Russia separatists have proclaimed independence. However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized Wednesday that Moscow plans to retain control of other areas in Ukraine that its forces have occupied during the war.
Colombo Port offers special berthing facilities to Bangladeshi vessels
Sri Lanka's state-owned Jaya Container Terminal at Colombo Port has offered priority berthing facilities to Bangladeshi feeder vessels. Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Prasantha Jayamanna has recently announced it at a discussion in Colombo, according to a message received here on Friday. He briefed Bangladesh about the present facilities as well as ongoing and future expansion plan of Colombo Port which would increase their container handling capacity to 15 million TEUs once completed in 2025-26. Bangladesh High Commission has been pursuing this priority berthing issue with SLPA for long, said the nessage from the mission. Bangladesh High Commission to Sri Lanka organized in Colombo a stakeholders’ consultation forum recently on enhancing shipping connectivity between Chattogram and Colombo Ports pursuant to observance of the First Economic Diplomacy Week. The purpose was to facilitate greater understanding of operational issues between Chattogram and Colombo Ports and ensure greater connectivity and supply chain security and stronger partnership between the two ports. Representatives from port authorities of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, terminal operators, main line operators, feeder operators, freight forwarders as well as users of the two ports presented their respective perspectives. READ: Sri Lanka offers greater use of Colombo port by Bangladesh Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam shared Bangladesh’s remarkable economic developments and the potential it holds for Colombo Port. He also mentioned of the changes in the global logistics operations due to the pandemic and now the war, the resultant trends in shipping and necessity of offer of possible incentives from Colombo Port. The Chairman of SLPA, private terminal operators and Sri Lankan shipping community assured of giving continued priority to Bangladesh users, according to Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo. Referring to the recent negative media reporting on Colombo Port, they clarified that that their Port’s operation remains unaffected by the crisis situation in the country. Both sides emphasized the importance of real time communication among all the stakeholders of the two countries. Representative of Chattogram Port Authority shared that Bangladesh’s container traffic through Colombo Port has increased significantly last year. Representatives of Bangladesh stakeholders shared the users’ perspective about Colombo Port, emerging trends and challenges in shipping operations. In the interactive session that followed, the panelists from both sides responded to the queries from the participants which cleared many of the issues involving Chattogram-Colombo connectivity. It was physically attended by senior representatives from the Sri Lankan shipping community. From Bangladesh side, Senior Executive Director of Karnaphuli Group and HR Lines Anis Ud Dowla, Head of Operation and Marketing of Mohammadi Group and Country Head of DSV Logistics joined through zoomlink.
Benapole Port to remain shut for 3 days
Trade with India through the Benapole Land Port will remain suspended from May 13 to May 15 during the celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival of the Muslims. Import-export activities through the port remained suspended on Monday on the occasion of Shab-e-Qadr, the holiest night in the Islamic calendar. Assistant Director of the port Atiqul Islam said export-import, customs and other activities will remain shut from Thursday due to Eid holiday. Trade activities will resume from May 16, he said. Also read: 105 Bangladeshis return from India through Benapole Deputy Director of the port (traffic) Mamun Trafdar said security will be tightened at the port. Benapole port police station’s Officer-in-Charge Azizul Haque said they will remain alert to avert any untoward incident during the holiday. Benapole check post’s immigration Officer-in-Charge Ahsan Habib said no-one can travel to India or come to Bangladesh from the neighbouring country through the port due to the travel ban imposed on April 26. But those who got stuck in India before the border shutdown can return by securing release paper from the concerned High Commission. They must complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival, he said.