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591 - 7/08 - Loss Prevention - Chittagong, Bangladesh
Members with ships visiting Chittagong will be interested in the following advice provided by the Club’s local correspondent.
1. Monsoon season
The months of June and July are the peak period of the monsoon season in Bangladesh, during which heavy rainfall is experienced. Ships working at Chittagong Harbour, and those in the outer anchorage, should be vigilant and alert to the presence of incoming rain in order to prevent cargo damage claims as a result of rain water entering the holds.
The south-western summer monsoons occur from June through September. The Bay of Bengal Branch of the SW Monsoon flows over the Bay of Bengal heading towards North-Eastern India and Bengal, picking up more moisture from the Bay of Bengal. It hits the Eastern Himalaya and provides a huge amount of rain to the regions of North-East India, Bangladesh and West Bengal. Mawsynram, situated on the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalaya in Shillong, India is one of the wettest places on Earth.
Discharging operations at the outer anchorage are difficult with lighter vessels alongside and ships often report ranging and surge damage.
The damage occurs when the lighter vessels are alongside at the time of discharging operations when high wave and long swells are experienced. A high wind force is also experienced although often without rain.
Such damage is avoidable and ships discharging this way should ensure there is adequate fendering between the ship and lightering vessel alongside. If the lightering vessel does not have adequate fendering in way of tractor tyres then the discharging ship will need to take steps to ensure adequate protection.
1. Perishable cargo delivery
It is reported that Chittagong Port Authority has introduced Rules whereby consignees are required to obtain delivery of containers containing perishable cargo directly from the ship. The ship is not permitted to discharge the containers on shore but such cargoes can only be delivered upon clearance from Customs. Customs clearance is a time consuming process and subject to delays.
Such a requirement results in delays for the ship. According to reports published in the local paper, mainline operators have been arranging the off-loading of the containers onto their hired trailers, keeping the containers on the trailers until the consignee comes forward to take delivery of the cargo after clearance from Customs. This method is resulting in extra cost to the mainline operators.
2. Empty containers causing congestion
According to reports published in the local paper, Chittagong Port container yard is experiencing congestion due to an excessive number of empty containers in the yard.
Chittagong Port Authority has subsequently announced that rent will be charged at twice the normal rate on empty containers in order to encourage their removal. It has also been reported, however, that the timely removal of containers is affected by a lack of container handling equipment and due to containers being blocked by other stows.
During the last year there have been reported a number of cases where fuel oil received from Chittagong has caused ship engine and machinery trouble. A subsequent investigation has found that the suspect fuel oil was obtained from the local market and not the common oil companies. The Club’s correspondent further reports that no such complaints have been received concerning fuel oil from the oil companies.
Source of information:
JF (Bangladesh) Limited
Tel: +88 (031) 716 321-5