Transport of goods by truck, covered van and lorry came to a standstill at Chattogram port from 6am today due to the country-wide strike enforced by Bangladesh Truck Covered-Van Owners Workers Oikya Parishad.
Due to the strike, 2,000 export (garments) containers did not enter the port from the Inland Container Depot and 1,000 import (consumer goods) containers did not come to the Inland Container Depot from the port.
Bangladesh Truck Covered-Van Owners Workers Oikya Parishad, the platform for cargo transport owners and workers, said the strike is to press home its nine-point demand for amending the Road Transport Act 2018.
Port sources said loading and unloading of products continues normally at all jetties but there will be adverse effects on all port activities, including delivery, if the strike is prolonged.
Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association Secretary Ruhul Amin Shikder said, "Everyday, 1,800-2,000 export containers enter the port from the Inland Container Depot. Also, 1,000 import containers come to the inland depot from the port, and 1,700 vacant containers are moved from the port to the inland depot. No container came to the port from the inland depot and vice versa till now due to the strike."
Port sources said 5,000 trucks, covered vans and lorries enter the port for goods delivery and shipment every day.
President of Chattogram District Covered Van and Mini Truck Owners Group and Goods Transport Owners Federation Md Abdul Mannan said, "The strike was announced in Dhaka centrally. Trucks, covered vans and lorries have not transported goods since 6am today. The drivers will not drive the vehicles until the amendment of the law."
President of Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mahbubul Alam said, "The strike will have a negative impact on the economy. About 90 percent of import and export of the country is done through the Chattogram port. Container congestion will occur at the port. Prices of different consumer products will increase."
C&F agent and owner of Warisha Enterprise Sarwar Alam said, "I completed tax activities but cannot receive products because of the strike. The port and the shipping agent have to pay fines for this. If the strike is not withdrawn soon, the situation will become more complicated."