An Indian transit container, carrying eight tonnes of tea, has got stuck at Chattogram port for the last 24 days as the lone cargo vessel on the route could not leave for Kolkata port due to technical glitches in its engine.

The vessel, MV Trans Samudera, which was scheduled to carry the container to Kolkata arrived at the port on 4 October.

As there are no other ships on the Chattogram-Kolkata route at the moment, the transit shipment will not be possible until Trans Samudera’s engine is repaired.

The shipping agent, however, could not say when the tea consignment will be shipped to Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata.

The store rent of the container is increasing due to a long stay at the port yard. After keeping the 20-foot-long container free for the first four days, those concerned have to pay $6 per day for the first week, $12 per day for the next week and $24 per day from the 21st day.

Mohammad Habib, manager of Mango Line, local agent of the cargo vessel, told The Business Standard that the cargo vessel is now undergoing repair work in the Banglabazar area on the bank of the River Karnaphuli.

“It is not yet certain when the repair work will be completed. But we expect the repair work to be completed by the end of this week.”

Earlier on 6 September, the same cargo vessel brought an Indian transit container at Chattogram port to be transported to the northeastern state of Assam via Bangladesh.

The container loaded with TMT Steel, weighing 25 tonnes, has been transported to the northeastern state of Assam via a land port in Sylhet.

The consignment of tea as return cargo was loaded in the container at Dawki LC station, and reached the Chattogram Port on 15 September through Tamabil LC station for further shipment to its final destination in Kolkata.

With transshipment of these two consignments, the trial run of five routes for transiting Indian goods from Kolkata to north eastern states of India using the seaports of Bangladesh will be completed.

After resolving impediments to the use of transit routes, if any, India will officially start transiting goods using Chattogram and Mongla ports. The first trial run under the deal was conducted in July 2020 with four containers loaded with iron rods and pulses – transported from Haldia Port in Kolkata to Chattogram Port.

On 25 October 2018, India and Bangladesh signed an agreement to allow India to use Bangladesh’s two seaports – Chattogram and Mongla – as transit points to carry goods to-and-from India’s north-eastern states.

A standard operating procedure (SOP) was signed in this regard – one year after a meeting between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi – in New Delhi on 5 October 2019.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News