Ships with a length of 200 meters and a draft of 10 meters can dock at Chittagong Port

Ships with a length of 200 meters and a draft of 10 meters can dock at Chittagong Port
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In a circular dated March 19, the CPA announced that ships with a length of 200 meters and a draft of 10 meters can now dock at the Landungsbrücken.

“Vessels with an overall length of up to 200 meters and a draft of 10 meters are allowed to dock at Landungsbrücken in real time, depending on the prevailing hydrological conditions,” the port authority circular reads.

Previously, ships that were 190 meters long and had a draft of up to 9.5 meters and had a capacity of up to 2,200 TEU were allowed to moor at the piers. With the same length and water depth, a bulk carrier can transport less than 30,000 tons of cargo.

The new length and allowable water draft will allow over 3,000 TEU ships to call at Chittagong’s piers, while bulk carriers can dock with 40,000 tons of cargo.

Faced with repeated requests from shippers and overseas shipping lines to accommodate larger vessels, in November 2020 the Port Authority commissioned London-based consultancy HR Wallingford to study the port’s navigation capacity.

The company conducted a hydrological and hydraulic study, based on which the Port Authority dredged some parts of the Karnaphuli River.

As a result, the CPA Board approved the berthing of vessels 200 meters long and 10 meters draft in a decision last December 27, but the decision had no effect as no circular was issued.

On January 16 of this year, the Port Authority conducted a trial run to accommodate larger ships and a Marshall Islands flagship, MV Common Atlas, which was moored at a jetty in the port.

In addition, on February 26, 2023, another large vessel measuring 200 meters in size also anchored at the newly built Patenga Container Terminal, proving that the fairway and berth were suitable for docking larger vessels.

Syed Mohammad Arif, chairman of the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA), said the FE welcomed the issuance of a circular allowing larger vessels to dock, noting that it will help reduce import costs and also reduce congestion on the port to decrease.

“Allowing larger vessels will benefit everyone immensely,” he said.

He said the number of vessels required to transport cargo to and from Chittagong will decrease under the new decision as larger vessels will carry larger volumes from now on.

Arif said the BSAA members, which mainly represent foreign shipping companies, would now notify their principals of the change, who would then decide whether to use larger vessels on the Chittagong route.


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