Local shipbuilders grabbing more orders for inland container vessels

Western Marine designed 176 TEUs container vessel, approved by Bangladesh Department of Shipping for operation in Chittagong to Pangaon route

Western Marine designed 176 TEUs container vessel, approved by Bangladesh Department of Shipping for operation in Chittagong to Pangaon route

On the 7th of Nov 2013 Pangaon Inland Container Terminal (ICT) has been inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. For the first time ICT has been introduced in our country with three inland containers vessels which have started their commercial operation by carrying containers from Chittagong Port to Pangaon. The three inland container vessels “Pangaon Express”, “Pangaon Success” & “Pangaon Progress” has been bought by Chittagong Port Authority to initiate the operation of Pangaon ICT as early as possible. But the government has issued a total of 40 licenses to private entrepreneurs & public corporations to operate container vessels in this route.

Currently these vessels are either under process of newbuilding or under process of secondhand ship acquisition from abroad. As the local shipbuilding industry is at a boom since past years & they have even successfully exported ships to Europe in the recent past, the shipbuilders have already secured orders of more than 10 vessels.
Western Marine being the pioneer in this sector has grabbed orders for 6 inland container ships. The drawing & design of the container vessels has been approved by class Germanisher Lloyd & Department of Shipping & it complies the rule of the Department. To be mentioned ships which will ply in the route of Chittagong Port to Pangaon has limitation of draft & length, this limitation relates to the ship’s carrying capacity & speed. Western Marine designed container ships are perfectly fit for the said route considering all the possible obstructions.
The management of Western Marine said that they have signed contracts for building 6 container ships & 2 of them are under constructions which are expected to come to operation from September 2014. They are hopeful they will be able to secure more orders of these ships as they are in negotiation for building 6 more ships to fill up their capacity. The container ships being built at Western Marine are 82meter in length & they will be able to carry 176TEUs of containers at a draft of 3.5m. They will have a maximum speed of 10knots.
To be mentioned operation of these container vessels is a major step taken by the government of Bangladesh to control the growing traffic density in the Dhaka – Chittagong highway. Previously inbound containers in Chittagong Port used to be transported to other parts of the country either by road or railway. Introduction of these ships will reduce 15% of traffic congestion in our highways from growing trade every year. Further freight cost will drop as container carrying cost is cheaper by river route than road or by rail.

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