Bangladesh’s first-ever direct export of readymade garments by sea started on Monday with MV Songa Cheeta leaving Chattogram port for Italy.
The ship left the port at around 3 pm for Ravenna port in Italy carrying 950 TEUs (Twenty Equipment Unit) in 493 boxes.
On Saturday, the ship anchored at NCT04 jetty of the port carrying the empty containers.
Port chairman, Rear Admiral M Shahjahan inaugurated the direct ship operation on Bangladesh-Italy route on Monday at NCT jetty of the port.
Terming it as a ground breaking turn of Bangladesh economy he said ships on this route will be prioritized for facilitating with berthing, key gantry crane allotment and other amenities.
Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the EU to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh Enrico Nunziata, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Faruque Hassan were present at the inauguration They hailed the direct shipment as a new milestone for Bangladesh in international sea trade.
“Now it will mostly take 15 days to send goods to European ports which used to take one and a half months before. It will decrease the carrying cost by 45 to 50 per cent, “said Md Omar Faruque, a Chattogram port official.
BGMEA leaders and concerned shipping agents said until now the RMG goods for export were sent to Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysian ports in containers on feeder ships from Chattogram port.
From there the containers are carried by larger ships bound for European and US ports, they said.
According to them if direct container ship operation on Chattogram-Italy route remains uninterrupted Bangladesh will be ahead of Vietnam in RMG export as it will save lead time and fare.
On December 23, the first trial ship operation to Bangladesh from Italy began by bringing empty containers.