Following the opening of the direct shipping route to Europe in February this year, direct freight route to the United Kingdom (UK) is now set to get operational which will reduce shipment time and cost significantly.
Allsees Global Logistics Company, a UK freight forwarding and shipping company, will be operating the inaugural shipment with the ship MV Amo, which is expected to arrive at Chattogram port on 15 May.
"We have approved three ships to operate in several UK ports, including Liverpool. We are also giving quick approval to companies applying for shipping on the new route," said Chattogram Port Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Shahjahan.
MV Amo is scheduled to carry export goods from Chattogram to Rotterdam port in the Netherlands via the Suez Canal. After unloading goods at Rotterdam, the ship will head for the port in Liverpool. It will return to Chattogram with import-bound goods.
Captain Syed Sohel Hasnat, chief executive officer of Phoenix Shipping Limited, a local representative of Allsees Global Logistics Company, said that the direct route will shorten shipment time to 23 days, which earlier used to be 35-40 days via Singapore and Colombo.
Other than MV Amo, Allsees will deploy two other ships – MV BBC Finland and MV San Alfonso – on the new route, the container carrying capacity of the three ships being 1,730TEUs, 1,500TEUs and 1,819TEUs, in that order.
Syed Mohammad Arif, chairman of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, termed it a positive development for Bangladesh's economy.
"Increased freight traffic will boost competition among shipping companies. As a result, freight charges and business costs will be reduced," he added.
Earlier on 8 February, a direct freight route from Chattogram to Italy went operational under the Italian freight forwarder Reef Line and its partner, Calypso Compania de Navigation.