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Amid global sanctions and major vessel operators’ suspension of services to Russia, Bangladesh has started to send containers to Moscow via alternative routes.
Some 68 teu is now on its way to Poland, after being stuck in Chittagong for weeks, via transhipment in Colombo port.
From there they will go to Russia by road. If they are unable to do so, shippers may try to sell them in Poland or look to other destinations. Another 18 teu of containers will go through Colombo port to Mersin port in Turkey, and from there by road.
Following the shipping lines’ decision to suspend services to Russia, some 200 teu of containers, and un-boxed exports, began to build up in Chittagong depots and factories. Many manufacturers suspended production of orders for Russia.
But buyers began to seek new routes to move their goods, mostly apparel.
Ruhul Amin Sikder, secretary, Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA), said: “Since alternative routes have been found, buyers can now send containers to Russia if they want to.”
Meanwhile, the severe crisis at Colombo port, a transhipment hub for 40% of Bangladesh’s export and import trade, has been causing two to three days’ delay for vessels calling at the port.
The truck-loading service disruptions, due to a lack of fuel oil in the forex-hit island nation, has caused a container build-up at the port, and the disruption at the inter-terminal box transfer is leading to vessels waiting for days to get designated containers.
“As the days go by, the situation is getting critical,” said Mohammad Ajmir Hossain Chowdhury, deputy general manager at MSC Bangladesh.
He added that some vessels were having to berth twice in different locations to pick up all their cargo.