CHITTAGONG, Mar 29, 2017 (BSS) – Nearly 3,000 containers piled up at different yards of Chittagong Port for five to 20 years are waiting for auction.
Experts apprehend that most goods stored in these containers are likely to be spoilt and unusable by this time. Yet, some of the imported items still might be eligible for auction.
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has identified over 2,962 such containers abandoned at the port yards for five to 20 years.
Port officials said the authority earlier had taken steps to arrange auction many times but could not complete the process because of different constraints.
CPA sources said they had issued 31 letters to the customs authority during last three years to arrange auction but the customs authority did not pay heed to those.
Earlier, the authority also issued letters to shipping agents to take delivery of the containers from the port yards as the containers occupied a large space, which is not actually meant for the containers.
Distressed at the delay in auction, port officials said the customs authority are progressing at snail’s pace on the auction of containers piled up for long. Port sources said a total of 288 cars, including mostly damaged ones, were also lying in the port jetty for long time.
“We’ll not allow car carriers into the jetties for the time being as we’ve no space. We have utilized our maximum capacity,” Zillur Rahman, chief estate officer of Chittagong Port Authority said.
However, the senior port officials said that no car carrier could be allowed until importers clear up spaces earmarked for the automobiles at the port by expediting delivery.
Customs sources said it is the rule to hand over the auction goods if the importers do not take delivery in a specific time.
Eshanul Hoq Chowshury, chairman of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, said these types of containers become unusable as they remain abandoned at the port yards for long time.
“For this reason the agents have to incur big financial losses and foreign principals lose their interest to send containers to Bangladesh, which has created a negative impact in country’s foreign trade,” he added.
Customs sources, however, said they cannot arrange auction for the containers because of different limitations.
“We hope that the problems will be resolved very soon,” a customs official said.