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1.1.1.1.

Port Overview1

Port infrastructure for foreign trade was considered to be exclusive domain of the public sector and the private sector
participation was only peripheral in providing stevedoring, clearing and forwarding agent (C&F), shipping and hinterland
transportation.

Chittagong Port Operation System 2

Like any other port the operation system of the Chittagong Port also consists of the Aquatorium System and Berthing
System.

Aquatorium System
The Chittagong Port is situated in the lower estuarial section of the Karnaphuli River, which meets the Bay of Bengal
near its northeastern corner. The outer anchorage of the port lies in the Bay of Bengal immediately outside the
Karnaphuli entrance. The maximum permissible draught of the vessels in the port ranges from 8.50m to 9.20m. Three
bars are present in the navigational channel - Outer bar, Inner Bar and Gupta Bar. The maximum permissible length is
186 m. For night navigation the permissible vessel length is further limited to 153m. Vessels with bridge on the bow and
vessels having container on deck obstructing clear view are not handled at night.
Chittagong port is a tidal port. The tides are semi-diurnal with prominent diurnal effect; the approximate tidal range being
between 1.5 m and 4.8m. Pilotage is compulsory, the steaming distance being 16 km from the outer anchorage to the
main berths. The average daytime piloting is 05 hours in a day.
Ships particularly larger size bulk carries and tankers which cannot enter the port channel due to limitations of vessels
length &/ breadth/ draught, anchor at the Chittagong outer anchorage with in the port limit. Cargos from these vessels
are discharged in lighter or coaster vessels to inland destination.
No sea-going vessel is allowed to navigate or anchor within the port limits without permission of the authority.
Chittagong Port is an ISPS compliant port. So, a numbers of documents are also required to submit including the
declaration of security level by the ship as per ISPS code.
Due to the natural limitations and geographically away from the main international sea routes of the world, there is little
possibility for mainline container vessels calling at the port and to become an international hub port. It is a feeder port for
container transportation. But considering the vast landlocked areas comprising the north eastern states of India, Nepal,
Bhutan, and a part of Myanmar & China, Chittagong Port if developed properly with proper inland connections has the
prospect of developing into a regional hub port for serving the adjoining regions.

Table- 1 Vessel Particulars


Sl. Category Average/Maximum Remarks
No. Capacity
01. Container Vessel Gearless- 1200 TEUS Since all CPA berths handling container vessels
Geared- 600 TEUS are yet equipped with quay transfer cranes
number of gearless vessel is very small
02. General Cargo Dry bulk-60000 DWT
Vessel General cargo vessel-
25000DWT
03. Tanker -Handy size (32000- Mother vessel carrying crude oil about 100,000
35000 M.Ton) DWT lightered off the Kutubdia
04. Others (Ro-Ro 3000 Pure Car Carrier
vessel) (PCC)
Source-CPA

Berthing System
There is similarity between the berthing subsystems of Chittagong Port with the other ports of the world. They are:
Ship operation
Quay transfer operation
Storage operation
Receipt/delivery operation

But the physical operation/activities and the documentation procedure are different. Actually, the operational and
documentation procedures are developed considering the countrys socio-economic background including government

1
Link to port website: http://www.cpa.gov.bd/
2
Chittagong Port: Policy and Objective in Increasing Private Sector Involvement in Port Operation
policy. A number of private parties are involved with the physical movement of cargo/container but the documentation
procedures are done by the port authority.
At Chittagong Port bulk, break-bulk, ro-ro, container and containerized cargoes are handled in the following berths/
jetties/ moorings:

Table- 2 Berths/ Jetties for Sea-going & Inland Vessels


SL Berths/ Jetties Nos. Comments
Nos
Sea-going Vessels
Berths owned and operated by CPA
1. General Cargo Berths 073 Berth/jetty 02-07 commercial/ multipurpose are used
for berthing Bulk carriers, break-bulk carrier ro-ro
vessel ect.

2. Container berths 144 Berth/jetty 08-13 commercial/ multipurpose are used


for container vessels having gear/derrick.
At CCT (3 crane berths) gearless vessels are allowed
for berthing
At NCT (5 berths which are yet to be equipped with
transfer crane) Container vessels with derrick/gear
are berthed.
Specialized berths for Bulk Handling
1. Dolphin Type Oil Jetty 03 Public captive berth
2. Grain Silo Jetty 01 Public captive berth
3. Cement Clinker Jetty 01 Industrial captive berth (Private)
4. TSP Jetty 01 Industrial captive berth (Public)
5. KAFCO -Urea Jetty 01 Industrial captive berth
6. CFUL-Ammonia Jetty 01 Industrial captive berth (Public)
Repair Berth
1. Dry Dock Jetties 02 Public captive berth for repair & maintenance of sea-
going vessels
Mooring Berths
1. River Mooring 05
Source-CPA

100% container & containerized cargo- mostly high valued cargoes are handled at CPAs jetties. 09 specialized cargo
berths (public & private) are built in the port with CPAs permission by different companies and corporations for their
captive uses.
Share of cargo handled at CPAs own jetties, public-private captive jetties & at Outer Anchorage are shown in the
following Table:
Table- 3 Percentage of Cargo Handling at OA, CPA Jetties & Captive jetties
SL. Particulars of Berths/ jetties Share of cargo Remarks
No. handling

3
Including private sector
4
Including private sector
1. CPA Jetties (Jetties2-13, CCT, 40% Bulk, break-bulk including 100%
NCT, River Moorings) container are handled at CPA own
jetties.
2. Specialized Private & Public 30% Dry & Liquid bulk
Jetties & Moorings
3. Outer Anchorage (OA) 30% Bulk cargo (dry & liquid)
Source-CPA & compilation

Customs
Customs clearance process is also mainly paper based and appraisal and verification are done without standardized
modern logistic support (container scanner). Procedural complexities, lack of transparency and timeliness in decision-
making often caused lot of harassment and delay in the customs clearance process.
Since 2000, ASYCUDA has been introduced without the two main modules EDI and Risk Assessment Management.
The customs clearance procedures for import still consist of 13 to 16 steps5, a cumbersome, redundant, paper ledger
and list-oriented process. In the absence of modern technology in controlling & appraising method, problems of trust
arise among the regulatory and trade body

Transportation of Container/Cargo from the port


On average 80% containers are either Dhaka bound/origin. Though the port is connected with its hinterland by the rail,
road and river; the quality of these transport connections is still insufficient and there are lot of constraints e.g. the main
highway comprises two lanes & the railway system is mostly single track and not properly maintained for safe and
speedy train. The inland waterways are also not adequately maintained. Still now, no container is transported by
waterways though it is considered the cheapest mode of transport6. As a result, transport of containers to hinterland
destination is very limited. Also road congestion increased the transport time and cost for truck transport.

Location & Description

Seaward Port Limit: with Patenga Beacon as centre if an arc is drawn seaward with a radius of 5 nautical miles till it
interface the coast line at positions: Lat 22 18' 45''N, Long 91 46' 30'' E in the north and Lat 22 08' 13'' N. Long 91 50'
00'' E in the South, the area enclosed within the extremities in the arc will form the seaward limit of the port of
Chittagong.

Hydrographical Data
There are three bars, one at mouth of the Karnaphuli River called the Outer bar and the second the Inner bar at 2.26 km
from the Outer bar and the third is the Gupta bar at 8.58 Km from the outer bar. The least depth at outer bar is 5.2 meters
(approx) from the chart datum (CD) i.e. from Indian Spring Low Water Level (ISLWL).The Least depth at the inner bar
and Gupta bar are 7.2 meters and 6.9 meters respectively from Indian Spring Low Water Level (ISLWL).
Depth at Jetty Berth ranges from 8.0 meters to 9.10 meters and depth at Mooring ranges from 8.8 meters to 10.5 meters
and above

Max. Velocity of Current - Opposite Khal No: 10 is as Under:


Spring tides (S.W.Monsoon) 4.5 to 5.5 Knots
Neap tides (S.W.Monsoon) 2.5 to 3.5 Knots
Spring tide (Winter months) up to 3 Knots
Neap tide (Winter Months) up to 2 Knots
Freshet Ebbs up to 8 Knots

Width
The width of the navigational channel (5.49m. contour) varies from place to place. A minimum of 250m channel width is
maintained.

Wind Velocity
The prevailing wind directions are from South to South East during the months of April through September. After taking
easterly direction for a while the wind turns to the northerly and north easterly directions, the later prevail from November
to January. During the months of February and March winds turn via westerly direction back to the Southerly to south
Easterly.
The port of Chittagong experienced four severe Cyclonic water surges during the last 44 years. In 1960 & 1963 speeds
recorded were 125 Knots. In 1970 and 1991 speeds were recorded 138 Knots and 180 Knots respectively.

Tidal Ranges

5
CPA-Draft Strategic Plan, Port Efficiency Improvement Project, Dec.2007, p-14.
6
The construction of an Inland Container Terminal (ICT) at Pangaon near Dhaka is ongoing and should be opened in 2012, with an
objective of 600 to 720 containers / day.
The tides are important for navigations as determine the possibility of crossing the shallow area between Kutubdia points
and the Karnafuli entrance and the Bars within Port Limit.
The tides are semi diurnal with prominent diurnal effect.
The approx. Tidal Ranges at Patenga, Khal No. 10 and Sadarghat from Chart Datum (ISLWL - Indian Spring Low Water
Level which is 1.673m below mean sea level) are as follows:
At Petenga: 1.5m.-5.5m. (above ISLWL); at Khal No. 10: 1.5m-4.8m. (above ISLWL); at Sadarghat: 1.2m-4.2m. (above
ISLWL)

Waves
The waves are generally low shown distinct relation with the wind. Maximum wave heights over 2m were recorded only
on a few days during small parts of days.
Density of water varies at each turn of the tide. Masters are advised to obtain the Circular from the local agents and
follow the instructions closely.
N.B. Karnafuli being a tidal river, it is essential for a vessel entering the Port to have six ropes aft for Mooring purposes.
For maneuvering in the Karnafuli River the length carry dry cargo and tankers with Oil is restricted to 186 metre (610 ft.).

Upper Port Limits

A line drawn with a masonry pillar situated 1.3 nautical miles upwards of the Kalurghat Railway bridge on the left
bank of Karnafuli river in the village Kadurkhil & other situated on the right bank of Halda river in the village
Guzara-Noapara.
Aline drawn cross the Halda river from a masonry pillar situated on the left bank of the river & other situated 0.22
nautical mile upwards in the village Guzara-Noapara on the right bank of Karnafuli river in the village Mohora.

These limits include so much of the area and of the river Karnafuli and the river Halda and the area that lie within
137.162 Metre of high water Mark at ordinary spring tide and docks, wharves, quays, stages, jetties, piers warehouses,
sheds, railway lines and yards within the limit of the bounded area and such other area outside it as included in the
Schedule iii of the Chittagong Port Act.

The seaward approach to the Port of Chittagong may be considered to be northwards of the 18.28m contour in latitude
22 24 North and longitude 91 30 East. The distance to the pilot ground from the south patches shoal being 46
nautical miles on direct course.

Anchorage

The port has the following recommended Anchorage Grounds:

Anchorage A is formed by extending 2 (Two) lines up to port limit, one (1st ) having bearing 337 45and the
other (2nd) 310 30 form the point having lat 22 12 30 N and long 91 47 00 E.
Anchorage B is formed in between 4th and 5th line having bearing 234extended up to port limit from the
previous point.
Anchorage C is between 4th and 5th line having bearing 2340 & 157respectively, extended up to Port limit
from a point of lat 221200'' N and long 91 4712'' E.

The space between 3rd and 4th lines is prohibited anchorage.

A Anchorage is for vessels over 9.2m draught.


B Anchorage is for vessels entering the port within 24 hours.
C Anchorage is for vessels lightering and other vessels not scheduled to enter the port within 24 hours.

The following Navigation Aids guide ships to approach the Port of Chittagong.
ST. Martine's Island Light House
Lat 20 37' 52'' N
Long 92 19' 24'' E
Flash Group (2) every 30 seconds; Visibility 17 Nautical Miles.
Coxs Bazaar Light House
Lat 21 26' 00'' N
Long 91 58' 30'' E
Single flash every 15 seconds; Visibility 21-5 Nautical Miles.
Kutubdia Light House (New)
Lat 21 52' 18'' N
Long 91 50' 36'' E
Flash Group (3) every 10 seconds; Visibility 17 Nautical Miles.
Norman's Point Light House (New)
Lat 22 10' 43'' N
Long 091 49' 27'' E
Flash white every 10 seconds; Visibility 17 Nautical Miles.
Patanga Light House
Lat 22 13' 34'' N
Long 091 48' 12'E
Flash Red every 10 seconds; Visibility 13 Nautical Miles.

Note
Principle officer, Mercantile Marine Department, Ministry of Shipping, Government of the Peoples Republic of
Bangladesh is responsible for maintenance and operation of St. Martins, Coxs Bazar and Kutubdia Light House.

Reference
Admiralty Chart No. 84 Approaches to the Karnafuli River Bay of Bengal Folio
Admiralty Chart No. 859 Elephant point to Matla River: Bay of Bengal Folio.
Bay of Bengal Pilot.

Position of Outer Bar Buoys


1. Outer Bar Buoy No. 1 Lat 22 12 38.13 N
(STBD SIDE) Long 091 47 43.70 E
2. Outer Bar Buoy No. 2 Lat 22 1301.35 N
(Port Side) Long 091 47'45.54 E

Masters are advised not to anchor southward of Patenga Light House having a bearing 55 and to observe Admiralty
Notices describing prohibited Anchorage and proposed Anchorages. On arrival at the outer Anchorage, the vessels
should proceed to marked anchorage clear off the prohibited Anchorage and contact the signal station Port Radio Control
on VHF-ch-12 to indicate the time and position of the vessels anchored. This signal station Port Radio Control keeps
constant watch and records the arrivals and departures of vessels and transmits and receives advance information of
urgent nature.

Masters are advised in their own interest to maintain watch on the forecastle and poop while the vessels are at Outer
Anchorage.

Navigation Guidelines
The Maximum permissible draft for entering Chittagong Port is 9.15 Meter
The Maximum permissible length for entering Chittagong Port is 186 Meter
The Maximum permissible entry length for night navigation is 153 Meter
The Maximum permissible draft for Main Jetty areas i.e. Jetty No. 2 to Jetty No.13 is 8.55 Meter
The entry permissible draft would however depend on the days maximum permissible draft.

The details of berth wise permissible length and draft and details of Night Navigations and other navigational
informations are given below:
Vessels up to 167.65 Meter LOA and minimum speed of 10 knots and with days permissible draught not
exceeding 8.55 Meter M can be berthed at jetties 2 to 13. Vessels having maximum LOA 186.00 Meter with
minimum speed of 12 knots may be berthed at jetties 2 to 13 and Chittagong Container Terminal and New
Mooring Container Terminal Berth.
Vessels having maximum LOA up to 186.00 Meter draught 9.15 Meter can be berthed at CCT & GSJ. Vessel
having maximum LOA 170.00 Meter draught 9.15 Meter & Vessel having LOA more than 170.00 Meter to
186.00 Meter will be berthed at NCT with draught 0.30 Meter less than the days permissible draught but will not
exceed 8.55 Meter. LOA up to 182.90 Meter draught 7.60 Meter at RM/3, LOA up to 150.00 Meter draught 9.15
Meter at RM/4, LOA up to 186.00 Meter draught 9.15 Meter at DOJ-5, DOJ-6 and DOJ-7. LOA up to 186.00
Meter draught 8.00 Meter at RM/8. LOA up to 186.00 Meter draught 6.0 Meter at RM/9 & LOA up to 145.00
Meter draught 7.5 Meter at RM/10. Vessels having LOA up to 143.40 Meter draught 8.25 Meter and vessels
having LOA more than 143.40 Meter and up to 175.25 Meter draught 7.90 Meter can be berthed at TSP.
Vessels having LOA up to 186.00 Meter can be berthed at CUFLJ jetty and be loaded up to maximum draught
8.50 Meter. Vessels having LOA of 186.00 Meter will be allowed to take berth KAFCO (AMMONIA & UREA)
jetties and to load up to 9.20 Meter.
Vessels having LOA up to 161.00 Meter with maximum draught 9.15 Meter and LOA from 161.00 Meter to 170.00
Meter with maximum draught 8.60 Meter will be allowed to take berth at CCJ respectively subject to days
permissible draught.
Two or more vessels having total LOA up to 302 Meter and having draught not more than 7.00 Meter may be
berthed at DRY DOCK JETTY.
SHIP MOVEMENT generally commences about 4/5 hrs before the days High water.
DURING the spring tide/freshets/foul weather vessels under 7 knots will not be normally handled and all such
vessels will be classed at GRADE-II for operational purposes and shall be handled conveniently. Agents of such
vessels are required to consult the undersigned well in advance.
Vessels entering or leaving port must have full power on main engine & deck machinerys, both anchors with full
length of chain must be available for use at all time.
All vessels entering/leaving port shall display their signal letters.
Ship Masters are required to anchor clear of the PROHIBITED ANCHORAGE.
Ship Masters must not anchor their vessels near the River entrance.
Pilot ladder as per regulation must be provided.
Ship Masters must note that the strong tidal conditions prevail at outer anchorage and utmost
Care must be taken while manoeuvering anchoring or heaving up anchors.
Crossing of bow at close range shall never be attempted.
Ship master must send their ETA, DRAUGHT and other particulars to the undersigned well in advance.
Ship master on arrival and prior to departure, are required to ensure that the vessels draught marks are clearly
visible for Pilots to read the draught correctly.
Ship master are required to ensure that no major chipping of ships side is carried out while their vessels are in
port.
Karnafulli being tidal river, it is essential for vessels entering port to have six good ropes (HAWSER & WIRE)
forward and similar six ropes aft. for mooring purpose.
IN AN EMERGENCY, Signal for Tug in port consists of 4 prolonged blasts on the whistle.
IN AN EMERGENCY, the following may be contacted on PHONES:

RADIO CONTROL 251086 2522200/2232


DEPUTY CONSERVATOR 2510842 2522200/2205 2510896 2522200/3205
HARBOUR MASTER 2510839 2522200/2206 2512554 2522200/3206
DOCK MASTER 2510856 2522200/2207
BERTHING SECTION 2522200/2234

VHF(R/T) watch is maintained in the Port Administrative Building, round the clock and the same can be
contacted any time during day or night channel-12(Frequency 156.6MHZ or Channel-16, Frequency 156.8
MHZ ) watch on 2182 KHZ is also maintained simultaneously.
Ship masters approaching Chittagong road are advised not to attempt to cross bow of vessels at anchor/underway
to avoid drifting on them resulting probable collision in view of the prevailing strong current at outer anchorage.
However, if it is inevitable to cross, ship master may do so with caution by giving wide berth to the vessels at
anchor/underway considering the minimum velocity of the current being 6 knots and other marine factors.
When a vessels is given standby from Radio Control for entering Port & Pilot is on his way, it is advisable that ship
master should heave up anchor and wait for the Pilot steaming the tide near about position, Patenga Lighthouse
bearing 045 (T) distance 2 miles if deemed safe to do so.
Vessels having container on deck obstructing clear view of forward and or obstructing clear view of starboard side
when viewed from port bridge wing and vice versa will not be allowed to navigate in the channel of Karnafulli
River. When considering clear view, small craft crossing the vessels bow should be taken into account.
Under all circumstances international regulation for preventing collision at sea, 1972 and as amended in 2002 to
be followed as closely as possible while navigating within the Port limit of CPA.
NIGHT NAVIGATION Vessels having LOA up to 153.00 Meter with draught, 0.50 Meter less than the days
permissible draught will be allowed to take berth at the jetties from Jetty No. 2 to 13, CCT/1, CCT/2, CCT/3,
NCT-(1-5), DDJ/1, DDJ/2, CUFLJ & KAFCO only.
Vessels with Mid-ship bridge and up to 165.00 Meter LOA & vessels with AFT. Bridge up to 153.00 Meter LOA having
draught 0.30 Meter less than the days permissible draught will be allowed to sail out during night from jetties 2
to 13, CCT/1, CCT/2, CCT/3, NCT-(1-5), DDJ/1, DDJ/2, CUFLJ and KAFCO only.
Vessels with bridge on the Bow & vessels having containers on deck obstructing clear view forward; will not be
handled during night.
The permissible length over all (LOA) for the entry to the port for vessels having navigation bridge at the bow is
limited to 160.00 Meter.
To reduce the lateral windage area of CAR CARRIERS, RORO vessels and Passenger vessels, the height from
the water line to the upper most cargo/passenger deck is limited to 15 meters for handling in the Karnafulli
channel.
However, CAR CARRIER, RORO vessels, Passenger vessel and vessels having Bridge at the Bow exceeding above
limit with length over all up to 170.00 Meter may be handled conveniently subject to fair weather(Wind force
below 10 knots) and with special arrangements (using extra tugs and extra pilot etc.).
Permissible Height of mast above water level is limited up to 52 Meter due to over head cable for berthing at jetties
from 2 to 13. Intending shipping agents may contact the Harbour Master/CPA and offer such ships for handling
at least 24 hrs. in advance.
For Costers and Inland Vessels:

Grain silo Lighter Jetty for inland vessels and I. W. T. Vessels/crafts.

Lighter Jetties
1. L. J. No. 1 Permanent cement concrete with 122 Meter jetty face at Sadarghat for coasters and inland
vessels up to 70 Meter Length vessels with day cargo.
2. L. J. No. 2 with pontoon and shore connection (at Jamuna ) for coasters and inland vessels up to 76
Meter.
3. L. J. No. 3 with Pontoon and shore connection (Jumana) for inland tankers and vessels up to 76 Meter
with edible oil POL in Bulk.
4. L. J. No. 4- with pontoon and shore connection (Megna) for inland tankers and vessels up to 75 Meter
with POL in Bulk.
5. L. J. No. 5 with Pontoon and shore connection (ITT) for inland tankers and vessels up to 75 Meter with
with edible oil in Bluk.
6. L. J. No. 6 with cement concrete Jetty (Padma) for inland tankers and vessels up to 70 Meter for bulk
Pol.