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Sri Lanka offers special berthing facilities to Bangladeshi vessels

bluesky

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Sri Lanka offers special berthing facilities to Bangladeshi vessels​

Published: July 01, 2022 17:19:59 | Updated: July 01, 2022 19:07:45

File photo of  Colombo Port. (Collected)
File photo of Colombo Port. (Collected)

Sri Lanka's state-owned Jaya Container Terminal at Colombo Port has offered priority berthing facilities to Bangladeshi feeder vessels.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Prasantha Jayamanna has recently announced it at a discussion in Colombo, according to a message received in Dhaka on Friday.

He briefed Bangladesh about the present facilities as well as the ongoing and future expansion plan of Colombo Port which would increase their container handling capacity to 15 million TEUs once completed in 2025-26, reports UNB.

Bangladesh High Commission has been pursuing this priority berthing issue with SLPA for long, said the message from the mission.

Bangladesh High Commission to Sri Lanka organised in Colombo a stakeholders’ consultation forum recently on enhancing shipping connectivity between Chattogram and Colombo Ports pursuant to observance of the First Economic Diplomacy Week.

The purpose was to facilitate greater understanding of operational issues between Chattogram and Colombo Ports and ensure greater connectivity and supply chain security and stronger partnership between the two ports.

Representatives from port authorities of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, terminal operators, main line operators, feeder operators, freight forwarders as well as users of the two ports presented their respective perspectives.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Tareq Md Ariful Islam shared Bangladesh’s remarkable economic developments and the potential it holds for Colombo Port.

He also mentioned of the changes in the global logistics operations due to the pandemic and now the war, the resultant trends in shipping and necessity of offer of possible incentives from Colombo Port.

The Chairman of SLPA, private terminal operators and Sri Lankan shipping community assured of giving continued priority to Bangladesh users, according to Bangladesh High Commission in Colombo.

Referring to the recent negative media reporting on Colombo Port, they clarified that that their Port’s operation remains unaffected by the crisis situation in the country.

Both sides emphasized the importance of real time communication among all the stakeholders of the two countries.
Representative of Chattogram Port Authority shared that Bangladesh’s container traffic through Colombo Port has increased significantly last year.

Representatives of Bangladesh stakeholders shared the users’ perspective about Colombo Port, emerging trends and challenges in shipping operations.

In the interactive session that followed, the panelists from both sides responded to the queries from the participants which cleared many of the issues involving Chattogram-Colombo connectivity.

It was physically attended by senior representatives from the Sri Lankan shipping community.

From Bangladesh side, Senior Executive Director of Karnaphuli Group and HR Lines Anis Ud Dowla, Head of Operation and Marketing of Mohammadi Group and Country Head of DSV Logistics joined through zoomlink.
 

Bilal9

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Bangladeshi vessels might berth, but just to pick up Bangladesh bound containers on the way back from EU ports.

Bangladeshi vessels now go direct to EU ports bypassing ports like Colombo.

Karnaphuli Group and HR Lines also have services from Colombo to pick up Bangladesh inbound containers.

SLPA and Sri Lankan ports have unfortunately received enough bad press about logjam delays that outbound Bangladeshi vessels now avoid ports in that country.

If a ship is completely loaded and can go to the EU direct, why stop in Sri Lanka?
 
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bluesky

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I think, using both smaller ships from Chittagong and also using Colombo port has merits. We just cannot depend upon smaller coastal ships for a long voyage in bad weather.

Note also that the smaller a ship the more expensive is its operating cost.

So, BD can use both systems. Using smaller vessels directly to EU ports and larger ships from Colombo if the Colombo Port authority is able to improve the operating conditions.

SL's main political family is full of thugs who have ruined the country and we have to wait to see if they are able to reorganize the Colombo port.
 

Bilal9

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Bangladesh’s HR Lines to launch Colombo-Chattogram feeder service in partnership with Clarion Shipping​

HR-Lines-Enters-Colombo-with-Clarion-Shipping-scaled.jpg

Bangladesh’s container ship operator HR Lines Limited, will be launching the Colombo-Chattogram feeder service on the 4th of April 2021, in partnership with, Clarion Shipping (Pvt) Limited, a subsidiary of Hayleys Advantis Limited. The operation will commence with two of the newest container vessels to be added to the fleet of HR Lines, MV HR Hera and MV HR Rhea with a capacity of 1,454TEU each.

The Colombo-Chattogram Express service expands Colombo’s transhipment connectivity to Bangladesh with a fixed day, weekly service. With Colombo being the only deep water port in the South Asian region that can accommodate even the largest VLCC vessels, the need for frequent transhipment connections to regional ports has increased in recent times. Taking advantage of its strength and stature in the field of shipping and logistics, Hayleys Advantis has constantly worked towards building capability across the region to help position Sri Lanka as a regional logistics hub.

Commenting on the planned launch of the new service Tharanga Perera, Director/CEO of Clarion Shipping (Pvt) Ltd said that “this goes in line with the Government’s aspirations of establishing Sri Lanka as a regional logistics hub and frequent transhipment connections of this nature, will enable Colombo to attract more large vessels in the coming years. Our aim is to help establish Colombo as the largest transhipment cargo hub for the Asian region”.

Meanwhile, Hamdan Hossain Chowdhury, Director – HR Lines stated that “HR Lines will launch two more ships in August 2021, each with a capacity of 1,550TEU, which will also be deployed on the Colombo-Chattogram Express service, upgrading it to a twice weekly service”.

Headquartered in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka, HR Lines is a part of Karnaphuli Group, a diversified business house with interests in marketing, distribution, financial services, general insurance, telecommunications, print and electronic media, aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, shipping and logistics. HR Lines is working towards expanding its connectivity with regional transhipment hubs with the procurement of up to six box-ships with a capacity of around 1,550TEU in the coming months.

Since being established in 1999, Clarion Shipping has expanded its service portfolio to cover all aspects of shipping services, ship supplies and maritime security services, cementing its position as a reliable shipping partner in Sri Lanka. The company draws strength from its parent, Hayleys Advantis Limited, the transportation and logistics arm of Hayleys PLC, the number 1 listed company in Sri Lanka. With over six decades of experience in the field of shipping and logistics in Sri Lanka, Hayleys Advantis has established itself as an innovator in the industry, setting the pace and shaping the logistics category.
 

Bilal9

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In pandemic time local shippers added 32 vessels to fleet​

Bangladesh spends at least $9 billion in freight charges per annum, while local ocean going vessels could tap only 8-10% at best owing to a dearth of vessels​


fleet_of_flag_vessels_expanding-info_0.jpg

Legal protection, tax benefits and rising freight charges – all these have encouraged new entrepreneurs to sign up in the ocean going shipping sector with intent to take a bigger slice of freight charges that now largely go to foreign ship operators.

Industry insiders say a provision for local vessels to carry 50% cargos, berthing priority at local ports, VAT exemption during imports and ballooning exports and imports have mainly spurred the sector's growth.

To top it all, the pandemic came as a blessing in disguise for flag vessels when the cost of a used vessel halved to $5-6 million from $10-12 million amid a trade downturn globally. And, Bangladeshi businesses cashed in on it handsomely, they added.


Over the last two years since the pandemic made inroads in the country, 32 new flag vessels have joined the country's fleet. As of December this year, the number of vessels increased to 80 from 48 in 2019.

Bangladesh spends at least $9 billion in freight charges per annum, while local ocean going vessels could tap only 8-10% at best owing to a dearth of vessels. Now it has the opportunity to retain at least 20% or $2 billion annually with the number of flag-carrier ships increasing, according to businessmen and Mercantile Marine Office of the shipping department.
Huge employment opportunities will be created as well, they said.

Surging freight rates stemming from global supply chain disruptions during the pandemic also drew in a good amount of investments. Thus, investments in the industry went up to nearly $2 billion with a new investment of $500 million.

Chattogram-based Kabir Group's SR Shipping Limited, which currently owns 23 vessels, added five new ones to its fleet over the last three years and its investment in the sector totaled $345 million since 2003.

Shahriar Jahan Rahat, deputy managing director at Kabir Group, told The Business Standard, "Bangladesh should be self-sufficient with oceangoing vessels to retain freight charges now going to foreign ocean liners."

"We have invested in flag vessels to retain our share."
To further boost the industry, Shahriar demanded a more business-friendly policy.

Mentioning that they are retaining a pie of freight charges from going abroad, he also proposed withdrawing the existing 3% income tax on freight as they are fetching foreign currency this way, and providing them with a cash incentive.

Last year alone, his company brought home $100 million in freight charges with oceangoing vessels.

Captain Md Giyashuddin Ahmed, principal officer at the Department of Shipping, told TBS that the highest number of ships in the history of Bangladesh has been added to the domestic fleet over the last two years, thanks to the enactment of flag vessel protection law that encouraged private entrepreneurs to invest in the sector.

"There are still plenty of investment opportunities in this sector. At present, Bangladesh has the capacity to transport about 20% of import and export goods through local flag vessels," he noted.

Other big names that entered the industry include Meghna Group with 15 ships, Akij Group with 10, Karnaphuli Group with six, Bashundhara Group with four and Orion Group with one ship. Bangladesh Shipping Corporation also owns eight vessels, according to the Mercantile Marine Office.

Meghna Group pressed into service the highest number of vessels in the pandemic time. Some 10 out of 32 new ships that sailed in high seas belong to the group.


Its 15 ships carry 7.5 lakh tonnes of goods per month and their annual transportation to different ports across the world stands at 90 lakh tonnes.

Mohammad Abu Taher, technical manager at Mercantile Shipping Lines Ltd, a sister concern of Meghna Group, said they have invested $375 million in their 15 ships. Four more ships are expected to join the fleet by December 2022.

According to Meghna Group sources, their ships carry 60% of the company's own products. The remaining 40% capacity is used to cater to domestic and foreign companies.

In 2013 Bangladesh had 85 ocean-going cargo vessels, but the number had dropped to 35 in 2018 owing to declining freight charges, higher operating costs and withdrawal of VAT exemption on imports and manufacture of vessels.

High bank interests, image crisis, delay in registration, double taxation in various international ports and a lack of protection policy are other factors responsible for a dwindling number of merchant ships in Bangladesh.

The newly enacted Bangladesh Flag Vessels (Protection) Act 2019 has given businessmen VAT exemption for registration of vessels with over 5,000 DWT capacity, priority berthing for Bangladeshi flag carrier vessels at local ports, allowed 50% goods to be carried by local ships from the earlier 40%, and ensured hassle-free registration. So investors are showing renewed interest in oceangoing vessels.

Sources at Bangladesh Ocean Going Ship Owners' Association said the oceangoing shipping sector has potential to create six lakh jobs and rake in $4 billion in additional earnings.

Meherul Karim, chief executive officer at SR Shipping Ltd, a sister concern of Kabir Group, said the flag vessel protection law has created huge opportunities for investment in the sector. Moreover, prices of ships came down a bit. That is why entrepreneurs in this sector have made new investments and there are more opportunities to invest in this sector.

After a decade, Karnaphuli Group restarted business in this sector by buying two container ships at a cost of Tk116 crore in 2020. This year, the number of ships in the group's fleet now stands at six.

Bashundhara Group has made new investments in the LPG tanker sector. At present, Bashundhara Group has three ships for LPG transportation. The group also owns another cargo ship.

Lured by global shipping heydays?

While major ports are backlogged and there is a huge dearth of containers, global shipping companies are making record profits, some reaching highest in 117 years or even rivalling the profit of Apple Inc.

The world's biggest container shipping line, AP Moller-Maersk A/S hopes to make more than three-time profits this year than the previous estimate and 15 times the amount the Danish shipping giant saw in 2019. Six months' earnings of Germany's Hapag-Lloyd AG have surpassed its earnings of the previous ten years combined.

Surging freight rates stemming from global supply chain snarl-ups mean headache for businesses, manufacturers and consumers, but big profits for ocean liners.

Cancelled or delayed voyages, high freight rates and congestion surcharges—all add to their income.

While record numbers of ocean liners are waiting off the coast of congested ports like Los Angeles and Long Beach in the USA, ocean freight companies continue to make money.

Freight cost to send a 40-foot container from China to California surged 10-fold to the range of $15,000 to $17,000, and the trend is predicted to remain through Christmas days to the middle of next year.

Are local companies putting money into ships in the hope to grab a pie from the global shipping bonanza out of the crisis?

Business executives said it might be a part of the strategy, but they in fact started relooking in the ocean container freights after the favorable law was enacted two years back.

Azam J Chowdhury, president at Bangladesh Ocean Going Ship Owners Association, told TBS most investments made in Bangladeshi flag carrier vessels over the last two years are for transporting their own goods. Bangladeshi entrepreneurs have the potential to invest more in this sector.

But the government has to fully implement the provisions of the flag vessel protection act, he added.

Anis Ud Daula, executive director at HR Lines Ltd, an affiliate of the Karnaphuli Group, told TBS that since the company has been involved in the shipping business for a long time, it has added six feeder vessels to its fleet over time.

At present, these ships can transport 25,000 TEU or Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit of import and export containers per month.
The deputy managing director of Kabir Group said surging freight costs is also a factor that brought in investments in the oceangoing shipping sector.

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HR Lines to buy four new ships from Chinese builder​

Dwaipayan Barua

Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:00 AM Last update on: Fri Nov 12, 2021 02:45 AM

at-a-glance.jpg



Bangladeshi feeder vessel operator HR Lines, a subsidiary of the country's only container vessel owning firm Karnaphuli Group, is now in the final stage of negotiations with a Chinese shipbuilder over building four 3,000 TEU-capacity vessels.

The one year-long negotiation is a part of the HR's steady expansion plan to provide liner shipping services to the country's increasing imports and exports.

With its current fleet of six container vessels, the company is now operating two liner services, one on the Chattogram-Singapore-Port Klang route and another on the Chattogram-Colombo route.

According to The Loadstar, a multimodal news source for the global logistics industry, HR Lines is in advanced negotiations with Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding.

The four vessels would be delivered between late 2023 and mid-2024, reported The Loadstar.

Preferring anonymity, a senior official of Karnaphuli Group informed The Daily Star yesterday that the deal would be signed at the end of this month.

The vessels will be customised to the existing draft attainable at the Chattogram port so that a maximum quantity of containers can be transported, he said.

As the country's foreign trade is increasing while local businesses are mostly dependent on foreign vessel operators amid spiralling shipping costs, HR Lines is trying to expand the fleet of Bangladeshi flagged vessels, he said.

The Chattogram port handled 30,97,236 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of containers, including those containing imports and exports, in the just concluded fiscal 2020-21, up from 30,04,142 TEUs in the previous one, posting a 3.10 per cent growth.

In June last year, HR Lines launched two container vessels, MV Sahare and MV Sarera, each with a capacity of 1,550 TEUs.

They were deployed on the Chattogram-Singapore-Port Klang route through the introduction of Bangladesh Express Service.

Earlier this year, the firm signed agreements with Singaporean firms Pacific International Lines and its subsidiary PST Management Pte to procure four old container vessels at a cost of around Tk 2.25 billion.

Two of the four vessels, named MV HR Hera and MV HR Rhea, each having a capacity of 1,454 TEUs, were first deployed on the Chattogram-Colombo route in March, when the firm introduced Chattogram-Colombo Express.

Later, HR Hera and HR Rhea were shifted to the Chattogram-Singapore-Port Klang route while MV Sahare and MV Sarera on the Chattogram-Colombo route.

Last month, two more vessels, HR Farha and HR Aarai, were added to Chattogram-Colombo Express.

Established in 1954, Karnaphuli Group has interests in shipping, logistics, marketing, distribution, aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, print and electronic media, and real estate, among others.
 
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