Experts stressed the formulation of a National Logistics Policy for efficient management in the port logistics sector.
They also asked for the development of the road, rail and river connectivity infrastructure with ports, and the modernization of the customs structure.
They put importance on the expansion of digital operations, establishment of bonded warehouses in the private sector and above all, implementation of an integrated logistics platform.
The experts were speaking at a seminar titled “Efficient Port Logistic Management & Trade Competitiveness of Bangladesh” organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on Monday in the capital.
Dr M Masrur Reaz, chairman of the Policy Exchange of Bangladesh presented the keynote at the seminar.
In his keynote, he said that modern port management plays an important role in expanding communication, improving efficiency and overall capacity building in international trade.
“In order to increase the capacity of the country’s ports, the formulation of integrated strategies for the development of management, infrastructure, and expansion of connectivity based on the public-private partnership (PPP) model is urgent,” he added.
He also said that the use of modern equipment and information technology, the improvement of the quality of logistics services, the formulation of national logistics policies, the enhancement of coordination among the relevant stakeholders and the revision of customs policies are also important.
In his speech as the chief guest, Mostafa Kamal, secretary of the Ministry of Shipping said that the first terminal of Payra port, established under the PPP model, will be ready for use in the next few months.
He also said that several foreign companies like DP World, PSA International and Red Sea Port have shown interest in increasing the capacity of the ports of Bangladesh.
“The cooperation of such organizations will increase the capacity of the country’s ports, which will further boost our trade and investment,” he added, saying that they already appointed consultants for the purpose of setting up the bay terminal. Based on the report received from them, the government will proceed with its construction.
He pointed out that there is a huge shortage of skilled human resources in the country for efficient port management and urged the government to take initiatives in creating skilled human resources.
In the welcome remarks, DCCI President Rizwan Rahman said that in assessing the capacity of any country in international trade, the efficiency of port logistics management is considered very important.
“Chittagong seaport is recognized as the 64th busiest port in the world, according to the calculations of the World Bank. However, due to lack of efficient port management in terms of container handling, shortage of port yards, absence of port sheds and modern equipment, this port is far behind among Asian seaports,” he added.
Through the development of the overall capacity of Chittagong port, it is possible to significantly reduce the operating costs of the trade and investment activities, the DCCI president expressed.
He proposed the implementation of Bay-Terminal and Patenga Container Terminal activities through the master plan, capital dredging, increasing the capacity of the jetty and further development of road and rail connectivity with the port.
Li Peng Gee, vice-president of Group Business Development, Syed Ali Jowher Rizvi, managing director of Summit Alliance Port Limited, Kabir Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association, and Shamim Ul Haque, country director of DP World Bangladesh participated in the scheduled discussion in the seminar.