The Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association (BAFFA) has requested the government to allow freight forwarders to set up and run bonded warehouse facilities to handle export and import cargo seamlessly. The association is of the view that if the government accepts their request, their dependability on the inland container depots can be completely reduced and will also eradicate the congestion at the Chattogram port.
The BAFFA leader requested the government to lease out around 100 acres of land in the proposed Bay Terminal to develop a state-of-the-art distribution park to handle imports and export cargo. He also insisted that all the transportation activities, whether for sea, air, rail, land, or river, come under the freight forwarding segment and BAFFA is generating $130 billion of foreign trade.
BAFFA has explained in a news report that due to space shortage at the cargo freight stations in the private ICD, they are not able to manage export cargo, and hence many vehicles carrying export cargo have to wait in queue for days at the ICD before they can enter the depot. The waiting time also increases the vehicle fare. The report further added that during festive seasons the situation worsens as the supplier works on the increased number of export cargos in advance as their factories are shut for a longer period during Eid.
The problem is now blown up as the ICD owners have not made enough investments to increase their capacity. Almost all export-bound cargoes shipped via Chattogram port are loaded into containers at the CFS of the 19 ICDs in and around the port city. One of the ICDs BM Container Depot has been partially destroyed by fire and is handling only empty containers rather than export or import.
As there is no alternative to the ICDs, hence this request to the government to provide space for speeding up the country’s export and keep it running.