The country's premier seaport of Chittagong experienced a hefty growth in handling both export and import cargoes by about 18.36 per cent in the calendar year 2005 over that of the previous year, official statistics said.
Official figures also showed that the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) handled a total of about 25.89 million tonnes of cargoes in 2005, including about 23.0 million tonnes import cargoes and 2.89 tonnes export cargoes.
The import cargoes witnessed growth by about 18.48 per cent while export items rose by 17.52 per cent in the just concluded calendar year over its previous one.
The Chittagong port handled 19.41 million tonnes import cargoes in 2004 which rose significantly to 23.0 million tonnes in 2005. However, it handled 2.89 million tonnes of export cargoes during 2005 while it dealt with about 2.46 million tonnes export cargoes, with only 0.43 million tonnes increase in comparison with year 2004.
The CPA also witnessed a robust growth -- about 13.73 per cent -- in its container handling in the Chittagong Container Terminal (CCT) and other yards. But growth in the Dhaka Inland Container Depot (ICD) was 5.0 per cent in 2005.
The country's largest inland container depot -- the Dhaka ICD -- handled both export and import containers, 72000 TEUs in 2005 compared to 68567 TEUs it had handled in 2004, official statistics said.
The CCT and other container yards handled a total of 0.78 million Twenty Equivalent Units (TEUs) in calendar year 2005 which was 94,582 TEUs additional (increase) from the last calendar year.
Port officials said that there was a massive rise in the numbers of both cargo and containers in the port in recent years resulting in serious space crisis in the port yards.
Director of the CPA traffic department Ahsanul Kabir told the FE that they had undertaken another project to build a container yard in front of Port Hospital to cope with the growing pressures of containers and cargo.
He said that implementation of the New Mooring Container Terminal would also lessen the container pressures to a great extent. "We will have adequate space till 2015 if the projects are implemented in time," he said.