The estimated primary financial loss caused by the deadly container depot fire in Chattogram's Sitakunda may stretch over $110 million, according to Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (BICDA).
Reportedly, over 800 TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units) of containers loaded with export items - mainly RMG products and frozen foods – around 500 imported goods-laden containers and 3000 empty containers went down in flames on the Saturday night fire.
BICDA Secretary General Ruhul Amin Sikder told The Business Standard, "The primary damage from the fire will surpass over $110 million as it has destroyed loaded export and import containers worth over $90 million and empty containers worth over $20 million."
"We are still working to measure the losses," he said adding that an emergency meeting has been called today at 2:30pm.
On Saturday, BM Container Depot at Bhatiari had around 4,300 TUEs of export, import and empty containers out of its holding capacity of 6,500 TEUs.
Some 600 people work in the private depot.
Meanwhile, BGMEA Vice president Rakibul Alam Chowdhury told The Business Standard that export goods for the United States and Europe were brought to the depot for shipment in the last five days.
"In the depot, there were goods that were waiting for a shipment for the US-based chain cloth brand H&M, while 100 TEUs were supposed to be shipped for a European brand, Rakibul Alam said.
"There were also goods of Pran, Ananta Group."
In Bangladesh, there are 19 Inland Container Depots (ICD) also known as off-dock which handle almost 100% of export goods for shipments and 38 types of import goods - including food items like rice, wheat, and mustard seed, chickpeas, pulse, scraps. The ICDs work to help ease congestion at Chattogram port and facilitate the quick clearance of FCL (Full Container Load) cargo by allowing unloading or delivery from outside the port area.
These ICDs have a capacity of holding 76,255 TEUs containers while Chattogram port yard has the capacity for 49,018 TEUs.