Please be advised that normal operations at the majority of terminals in Chittagong Port continue to be suspended, after a container vessel caused severe damage to two of its gantry cranes during berthing on June 25th.
The situation is as follows:
• Of a total 14 berthing points, 2 were dedicated to all the gearless vessels with the use of 4 gantry cranes (gantry crane operation productivity is 1.5 times greater than the gear vessel operation, with an average productivity between 20 to 30 boxes per hour, each).
• A total of 15 gearless vessels are operated to and from Chittagong and are now stuck working at 50% terminal productivity (these are the remaining 2 operational gantry cranes).
• Overall port operations have been impacted with reduced productivity of 11%.
• Before the Eid al-Fitr (EID) holiday, on average 14 container vessels were waiting at outer anchorage; this number is now increased to 24 after the accident, with each waiting an average 11 days (instead of the normal 5 to 7 days). (This situation is expected to worsen when all factories re-start shipping at regular volumes following the EID holiday.)
• Import yards at the port are fully congested, with the normal maximum capacity of 36,563 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) well exceeded and currently at roughly 40,000 TEUs.
• Total weekly feeder vessel berthing has been reduced drastically due to increased turnaround time.
• According to the Port Authority, the two gantry cranes may take up to 3 months to repair; the Port Authority is trying mitigate this delay to avoid further congestion during this peak season.
• The Port Authority is currently exploring the possibility of using an alternate jetty at the Chittagong Control Terminal for berth gear vessels, in order to increase capacity and reduce waiting time.
• The Port authority is also trying to repair one mobile crane for immediate support.
The accident is aggravating operations at an already congested terminal where Cyclone Mora previously caused a backlog of many containers. The additional congestion will further strain terminal operations and may result in more rolled containers and missed connections.
As less feeder vessels take berth and loading/unloading productivity continues to suffer, many laden containers which were already stuffed at the container freight station (CFS) are now sitting idle, awaiting nomination on the next available feeder vessel to move from CFS to port. Missed and revised feeder departures will translate into missed mother vessel connections, as the congestion continues to worsen.
Omnitrans in conjunction with our local partner EFL, will continue to monitor the situation very closely and will provide further updates as more information becomes available.