The cargo handling of Bangladesh's premier seaport in Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, has gone into full-fledged automation as the country's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Tuesday inaugurated the much-awaited container terminal management system (CTMS) in the port.
Introducing the CTMS, the modern digitized system of container handling, and the radiation detection system of the port, Hasina reiterated her government's firm commitment to build Chittagong seaport as the gateway to the trade activities of South Asia, state-run news agency BSS reported.
The government has also taken initiatives to build a deep seaport at Sonadia in Cox's Bazar for expanding the regional trade by utilizing the geographical advantage of Chittagong port which has been working as a "trade link between South and Southeast Asia, " she said.
The prime minister said bulk cargo handling in the port has increased by 12 percent and the arrival of ships has risen by 8 percent in the last fiscal year due to timely steps taken by the government.
"The average staying of ships in the port has been reduced by 80 percent as loading and unloading of goods in the port becomes more efficient," she added.
Hasina said one of her government's commitments is to build a Digital Bangladesh. "From today, the Chittagong port is going to be turned into a digital port from the manual system," she said. She also thanked the Asian Development Bank for financing the digital projects in the port.
Quoting port sources, BSS report said during the previous fiscal year, Chittagong port handled more than 1.4 million TEUs of container. But after the introduction of CTMS in the port, the handling capacity would rise to 2.1 million TEUs of container in the current fiscal year.