Maersk strengthens operations in Bangladesh, partners with ISATL

Bangladesh-an important sourcing market for the garments and apparel industry worldwide has built its economy on the back of garment manufacturers exporting to global markets.

Despite the impressive growth of garments’ exports from Bangladesh, the number of warehouses in Chattogram has not increased since 2012 with the sole exception of ISATL which became operational in 2018.

Optimizing utilization of available capacity assisted to an extent, however, it did not scale enough to meet the trade’s requirements. The logistics ecosystem and the Chittagong Port get stretched, particularly during the peak seasons.

In 2021, all stakeholders underwent a fallout of this structural challenge when the Container Freight Stations (CFS) got clogged with cargo resulting in delayed clearance, stuffing, and consequently dispatch of containers to the port.

Delay in offloading cargo also led to a longer truck waiting time, and delay in despatch of containers to the port, consequently resulting in a lack of overall productivity. These challenges have serious consequences on the overall economy of the country given the fact that the Chittagong Port handles more than 90% of the total containerized trade to and from Bangladesh.

Recognizing these challenges and strengthening its operations in the country, Maersk Bangladesh join hands with ISATL to build a 200,000 sq. ft custom bonded warehouse.

ISATL is a pioneer in constructing and operating warehouses and CFS and operates four CFS within Chattogram and the River Terminal at Dhaka.

Under the scope of this partnership, ISATL will construct a brand new custom bonded warehouse within the existing premises of the facility located at Pathortoli in Chattogram, doubling the existing capacity at ISATL and adding around 8% additional space to the existing ecosystem at Chattogram.

To be completed in a phased manner by the end of 2022, the construction of the new CFS has already commenced. The facility will be available for Bangladesh’s exporters and their overseas buyers from July 2022, once the first phase of construction is completed.

“Maersk’s commitment to connect and simplify our customers’ supply chains means that we look at long-term solutions for problems such as the longstanding congestion within the ecosystem. We tackled the situation in 2021 by deploying an additional vessel for evacuating export loaded containers”

Angshuman Mustafi, Managing Director, Maersk Bangladesh.

He added, “The solutions provided immediate relief to the ecosystem, but there was a need for a
comprehensive solution to optimize ocean shipping, port handling, and inland logistics that would benefit trade in the long term. By partnering with ISALT, we are establishing a facility that has the potential to partially decongest the system from the landside and streamline the flow of cargo in and out of Bangladesh.”

Offering several benefits to Bangladesh’s exports, the new facility is being built by benchmarking international best practices of safety and other compliance guidelines.

To make optimal use of available space and maximize the capacity, the facility in Chattogram will be a modern multi-storeyed facility with storage at G+2 levels. To improve the overall operational efficiency, the facility will offer pallets for all operations. Maersk will also offer customers Garment on Hanger facility, sorting, product audit, labeling, bar code, and RFID scanning amongst others.

“We are proud to partner with Maersk on this exciting long term project where ISATL’s extensive local experience combined with Maersk’s international best practices will allow us to create a truly world-class facility that will help raise the standards for the entire industry”,

Yasser Rizvi, Managing Director, ISATL.

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