A new trade route to Northeastern states of India via Chattogram Port of Bangladesh (popularly known as Chittagong) has opened after India’s Shipping minister Mansukh Mandiviya virtually flagged off the first trial movement of container ship from Kolkata. Mandiviya called the move a historic one in his tweet on July 16.
Access to the new route is likely to reap multiple benefits like reduction in time and logistics cost for cargo movement by almost half. Earlier, ships had to travel over 1,200kms for goods to reach from Bengal to the Northeastern part of India.
The vessels of the trial movement include two TEUs carrying TMT steel bars to be offloaded at the Chattogram Port. The consignment would then be loaded on trailers to travel road and cover 200kms to reach Agartala, cited a spokesman of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata, formerly known as Kolkata Port.
The two neighbouring countries signed an agreement on October 25, 2018 while the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on use of Chittagong and Mongla ports of Bangladesh were finalised on October 5, 2019.