'Humongous' container logjams at Pakistan ports as forex crisis bites
Container carriers serving Pakistan’s ports are wrestling with an acute foreign exchange crisis in an ...
Some 3,300 trucks, laden with export cargo, are waiting at the gates of the 19 off docks in Chittagong to unload goods, while some 9,300 teu export-ready containers are awaiting vessel designation for shipment.
The seven-day truck suspension was imposed in order to facilitate the movement of public buses and other vehicles for people leaving cities to celebrate Eid ul Azha.
Nurul Qayyum Khan, president, BICDA said some 300 containers remain unloaded, after failing to reach the port yards in time.
He said before shutting down factories for holidays, cargo owners sent all emergency and non-emergency shipments to the depots at once, creating congestion at the gates.
“We have capacity to handle 75,000 teu. If 100,000 teu reaches the depot, where can we accommodate them?” asked Mr Khan.
Meanwhile, as many as 71 container ships, oil tankers and others are wating at Chittagong port jetties and at the outer anchorage, while 42,000 teu of containers are at port yards, creating congestion.
Of the total, 22 are container vessels, 21 are general cargo vessels, 13 are carrying cement clinker and 12 are oil tankers.
Delivery of containers from the port yards also gone down to almost zero, since Eid on July 10. Data shows that on Eid not a single container was delivered, while a day after only 2 teu were delivered, while the following day 85 containers arrived.
Vessel waiting times have now reached three days. The shipping agents said that factories will remain shut until next Saturday, while container deliveries will not normalise for another week.