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Chattogram to Europe direct container ship plying commences

Ship reached Chattogram port in 16 days from The Civitavicia Port in Italy via the Suez Canal

The second-largest apparel exporting country, Bangladesh has long been suffering from a lack of direct freight service to Europe – Bangladesh’s biggest RMG export destination. Due to this, it takes extra 7 to 8 days for apparel products to reach the EU.

Instead, container ships ply from Chattogram port via Singapore, Colombo in Sri Lanka, Tanjum Palapas and Kelang in Malaysia and some ports in China. Through these ports, export goods go to European-American countries. Similarly, imported goods containers are brought to Chattogram port through these countries. There are also irregular container transport services at some ports in India. Mainly due to lack of access to large ships at Chattogram port, container ships did not ply with the world’s largest ports.

Chittagong-Europe-direct-Small-scale-container-ships-Calypso-Companya-de-Navigation
Figure: Freight Forwarder RIF Line and its subsidiary Calypso Companya de Navigation have launched the new service. Courtesy: Collected

This bottleneck is going to ease to some extent, as recently small-scale container ships have started plying directly from Chattogram to Europe. A ship carrying empty containers from an Italian port was boarded on a jetty at Chattogram port.

This is the first time container ships have been plying from Europe since the launch of container transport at Chattogram port in 1977. If the test movement is successful, the boat will be provided with two regular shipping services.

This container transport service was launched at a time when container transportation fares around the world have more than tripled. Again, the booking of the ship does not match easily. The fare for transporting containers each 20 feet long from Chattogram to European countries has increased from USD 2,000 to $8-10,000. In addition, the 40-foot-long container transportation fare is $14,000 to $15,000.

Foreign buyers fix the fare for container transportation for garment exports from Bangladesh. As a result, the extra rent money is now in their pockets. In this context, Freight Forwarder RIF Line and its subsidiary Calypso Companya de Navigation have launched the new service. The service has been launched by Freight Forwarder mainly in collaboration with Italian buyers.

Mohammad Rasheed, Chairman of Reliance Shipping and Logistics Limited, a local representative of the ship, said the ship reached Chattogram port in 16 days from The Civitavicia Port in Italy via the Suez Canal. The ship is scheduled to return to Italy with a container full of goods from China after releasing an empty container. After that, there is talk of bringing empty containers and taking containers full of export products of Bangladesh. With this new service, export products can be taken to Europe in a short time.

The garment industry will benefit the most from this initiative. Because 60 percent of Bangladesh’s export products go to European countries. This initiative will now reduce the number of products in Europe by at least seven to eight days to reach foreign buyers. This is a very good initiative. Because buyers want to take goods quickly. If this initiative is successful, the country’s garment industry will move forward in global competition.

The MV Cap Flores ship is capable of transporting 1,200 units of container. The port now has 2,800 single container transportable ships. The port holds a record of transporting about 1,900 containers on one ship at a time.

The spread of the service to Italy, as well as European countries, will save at least eight to ten days in export goods transportation. Now there is no competition from Chattogram to Singapore to get space on big ships. This initiative can take Bangladesh’s export-oriented sector a long way.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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