Apparel makers seek direct delivery from port

    Supports ICD overload, delays. ICD operators refuse

    People unloading truck at indoor container warehouse in Chattogram recently. In an effort to ease the acute congestion of containers, the National Revenue Council has ordered the transfer of all containers with imports from the country’s primary port to 19 private ICDs for delivery.

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    People unloading truck at indoor container warehouse in Chattogram recently. In an effort to ease the acute congestion of containers, the National Revenue Council has ordered the transfer of all containers with imports from the country’s primary port to 19 private ICDs for delivery.

    Garment manufacturers no longer want to receive import shipments from private in-house container (ICD) warehouses, claiming it took a long time and the charges were excessive.

    Preferring to receive deliveries directly from the Chattogram port, the Bangladeshi Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), in a recent letter to the Chattogram customs commissioner, requested the full restoration of direct port deliveries.

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    However, the Bangladesh Domestic Warehouse Association (Bicda) has denied the allegations in a letter to the commissioner.

    The port was heavily congested with containers for poor deliveries during the Eid holidays and the blockade across the country.

    In an effort to alleviate the situation, the National Revenue Council (NBR), with an office order on July 25, ordered the relocation of all containers with port imports to 19 private ICDs.

    The aim was to unpack the goods from the containers and make deliveries from there for a temporary period until 31 August.

    Typically, containers carrying only 37 types of imported goods are shipped to ICDs from the port for delivery.

    The NBR decision helped reduce congestion at the port quickly, as more than 15,000 TEUs (equivalent 20-foot units) of loaded import containers could be shipped to ICDs within a week.

    Garment manufacturers, however, oppose the transfer of imported raw materials for garment manufacturing to ICDs from the outset. They continued to receive their imports from the port directly.

    The first vice-president of BGMEA, Syed Nazrul Islam, on August 12, in a letter to the Chitagong Customs Commissioner, stated that it took an additional six to seven days to receive the deliveries from the ICD.

    He justified that the ICDs did not have sufficient space, equipment and manpower.

    Islam told the Daily Star that delivery from the port usually took three to four days, and currently took eight to 12 days to receive deliveries from the ICD.

    In his letter, the BGMEA leader also claimed that ICDs charge a total of 13,755 Tk for handling and delivering a 20-foot loaded import container, while the port charged only 4,277 Tk.

    Charges include a package delivery fee of TK 7,930, a lift fee of TK 1,000, a river fee of TK 408 and an additional transfer fee of $ 51.97 or approximately 4,400 Tk.

    For a 40-foot container with an import load, ICDs charged 18,092 Tk, while the port only 5,988 Tk, he said.

    Islam said clothing factory owners face financial losses because of this extra cost and extra time.

    He said that due to the repeated steps of the BGMEA, its members have increased deliveries from the port as the congestion there was almost eliminated.

    Meanwhile, Bicda President Nurul Qayyum Khan denied the allegations in a letter to the customs commissioner on August 14th.

    The ICD did not charge as much as the BGMEA leader claimed, Khan said.

    ICDs only charge TK 7,930 for a 20-foot import cargo container and TK 9,150 for a 40-foot container, and there is no extra lift and river charge, he said.

    The ICDs imposed a delivery charge package for transporting containers from the port to the ICDs, for lifting and deactivation by vehicles for installation and use, he said.

    The extra shipping charge of $ 42.60 or about 3,600 Tk for a 20-foot container is not a normal charge, he said.

    It is taken in case of appraisal, sampling and fumigation of selected consignment containers, the letter said, adding that the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) also imposed such an additional travel charge for specific cases.

    BICDA Secretary Ruhul Amin Sikder told the Daily Star that the CPA charged each container of a shipment.

    Noting that they did not receive any complaints about delays in the delivery of imports from any importer, Sikder said that no ICD prefers prolonged stay of import containers within their shipyards, as the market was very competitive.

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