Connectivity between Bangladesh and Sri Lankan ports
Increasing connectivity between Bangladesh
& Sri-Lankan Ports:
in context of containerized cargo
Ahamedul Karim Chowdhury
Chittagong Port Authority
• Present situation of Containerized Trade
• Transshipment ports; Currently used by
• Major Import & Export of Bangladesh
• Colombo as a Transshipment hub
• Singapore as a transshipment hub
• Comparative scenario between
Singapore & Colombo
• Comparative transshipment movement
during last 2-Year (Calendar)
• Comparative Feeder Freight Structure
• Colombo bound Feeders at
• Trend of Colombo movement
• Possible ways to increase volume
of cargo in CTG-COL route:
• Recent development in Colombo
• Chart comparison; recent
• How to increase volume between
Present situation of Containerized Trade in Bangladesh
• Chittagong port is handling around 1.54 million TEU containers per
annum for both import and export trade in total.
• Major containerized imports are coming from;
– Hong Kong
– South Korea.
• Major containerized exports are destined to;
– EU destinations
– Japan etc.
Transshipment ports; Currently used by MLOs
Containerized cargo moving mostly through feeder vessels and via
following transshipment ports;
– Port of Tanjung Pelapas (PTP)
– Port Kelang
Major Import & Export of Bangladesh
Major importing cargoes of
– Different machineries,
– raw materials of readymade
Coming from China, Hong Kong and
Moving via Singapore & PKL.
Major exporting cargoes of
– Raw jute & Jute products,
– Frozen foods,
– Leather and Tea
Going to USA, Canada, EU
destinations and Australia.
Moving via Singapore, Colombo, PTP
Colombo as a Transshipment hub
• Using transshipment hubs depends on how each Main Line Operators (MLO)
chooses to transship out of the above transshipment hubs.
• Colombo is ideally suited for transshipment cargo destined for East coast of USA
and Canada, Europe, Mediterranean, West Asia and African ports.
• For cargo ex BD to Europe / Med / USEC regions the shippers will have an
advantage in meeting the same connector which calls SIN and thereafter COL
enroute to the Western destination which may give them a lead time of 5-7 days
over cargo T/S via SIN.
• From Chittagong to Singapore or PTP and Colombo generally take 4 days but
Colombo takes 8 hour less than Singapore.
• Major MLOs routed their containers via Colombo are; Maersk, APL, MSC, Hapag
Lloyd, OOCL, Mitsui OSK, Hyundai, Evergreen, NYK, HJS, COSCO, YML, Kline, SCI
• Feeder operators are; Sea-Con, OEL, Simatech ,NYK EMC & FAR
Singapore as a transshipment hub
• Mainline vessels frequency in Singapore is much higher than other hubs.
• Singapore is also suited for various destinations and has different loop
options in every week almost all carriers to connect the mainline vessels to
move worldwide destinations.
• Advantage of geographic location and connectivity with different feeder ports
creates added advantage for Singapore.
• Apart from those for air-sea-air logistics Singapore is better than other hubs in
the region. Dubai is growing on sea air sector being close to some Europe
• PSA may have long-term service agreement with major MLOs on the basis of
certain volume commitment. Fulfilling minimum quantity commitment almost
mandatory otherwise there might be penalty on MQC. This may also a great
factor to move more volume to Singapore transshipment.
Comparative scenario between Singapore & Colombo
• In Chittagong-Colombo routing the
monthly volume of inbound is
approximately 10000~11000 TEUS
while outbound volume was 12000
TEU~15000TEU on an average.
• Colombo feeders are carrying
mostly laden containers not
• Chittagong-Singapore volume of
inbound is 47000~50000 TEUS per
month while export volume from
Bangladesh to Singapore-PKL is
26000~30000 TEUS laden
• Remaining of the inbound volume
are being reposition to Singapore
and PKL as empty container.
Comparative transshipment movement
during last 2-Year (Calendar)
Route 2013 2012
CTG-SIN 8,37,164 8,09,963
CTG-COL 2,54,722 1,99,139
CTG-PKL 2,29,648 2,07,289
CTG-PTP 2,19,983 1,90,065
TOTAL 15,41,517 14,06,456
Colombo bound Feeders at present
Name of Feeder Vessels Schedule Special notes
SIMATECH(250) 2 ELINI
CTG sailing MON
COL berthing SAT
service routing CTG-
SEACON(250) 1 LISSY SCHULTE
EMC(250) 1 EVER PEARL
NYK (250) 1 VIOLETTA
OEL 1 OEL BANGLADESH CTG sailing Tue
COL berthing SAT
Weekly service CTG-
COL-CTGSEACON 1 MADELEINE RICKMERS
SMILY LADY CTG sailing Sun
COL berthing THU
CTG sailing TEU
COL berthing SAT
Operate twice a
week on a 14 days
Trend of Colombo movement
Month No of Vsl Total
JUNE'2013 14 15,761 22,816
JULY’2013 17 19,381 30,405
AUGUST’2013 18 14,765 24,100
SEPTEMBER’2013 12 13,853 22,479
OCTOBER’2013 16 12,482 19,960
NOVEMBER’2013 15 13,211 20,784
DECEMBER 18 17,692 27,995
Possible ways to increase volume of cargo in Chittagong Colombo route;
• Mainline vessels should be attracted to call Colombo as a transshipment port
by the Colombo Port Authority. If MLOs place more and more main line vessels
in Colombo automatically feeder vessels movement from Bangladesh will be
• Rebate, priority berthing, window berthing facilities to the major players may
play an important role in this case.
• Increasing feeder vessels in Chittagong-Colombo-Chittagong route may also
create a positive impact to increase transshipment trade volume.
• COL Port to give an increased rebate in T/S tariff rates for cargos routed via Sri
Lanka for cargos bound to/from Bangladesh to attract more interest.
• The freight rates filed for customers are covering all costs and the feeder port
or T/S point will not have a major cost differentials.
Recent development in Colombo route
Since the commencement of the new Terminal, the Port Volume throughput has
increased by 5%. During the period Jan to March 2014 vs. 2013 the increase in volume
is 11%. This is bound to grow, with the larger vessels now calling Colombo and more
T/S volumes being routed via Colombo.
Route January February March
CTG-SIN 79852 66348 77499
CTG-COL 28304 30545 32633
CTG-PKL 10471 17091 12185
CTG-PTP 20479 14468 12660
TOTAL 139106 128452 134977
CTG-S IN CTG-COL CTG-PKL CTG-PTP
CYKHE going to start new Europe service (NE8), maiden voyage at COL is on 26th April at
CICT Terminal, expected volume per week for this service ex CGP is 300 Teus per week.
Chart comparison; recent development
1S T Qtr of 2014
Recently MSC started using ISES lane to move a portion of Europe cargo
through Colombo and their target is around 250 TEU weekly from CTG.
How to increase volume between Chittagong-Colombo?
• Consistency in operational performance of Chittagong port such as;
– minimum turnaround time;
– window berth facilities;
– fixed day sailing of feeders.
• Apart from those guaranteed connection of mainline vessels in Colombo can
increase reliability of service route and gradually volume will be increased.
• Presently volume of bilateral trade around 10-12% of total container trade
between Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka.
• Increasing volume of bi-lateral trade between two countries can be a trigger
to improve shipping connectivity with Sri-Lanka-Bangladesh trade route.