Ctg Port launches new tender for Kamalapur ICD following demand from private ICDs

by MMC
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Under current criteria, bidders must have at least 70% experience in government projects, without explicitly mentioning the need for experience in the operation and management of the ICD, which appears to disproportionately favor one group or a specific entity.

TBS Report

September 14, 2023, 10:45 p.m.

Last modification: September 14, 2023, 10:45 p.m.

An aerial view of Chittagong Port. Archive photo: Mohammad Minhaj Uddin

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An aerial view of Chittagong Port.  Archive photo: Mohammad Minhaj Uddin

An aerial view of Chittagong Port. Archive photo: Mohammad Minhaj Uddin

The Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) has canceled the tender for the management of the Kamalapur Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Dhaka following the objection of the Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (Bicda), as the association believes that the criteria mentioned in the tender documents are unfair. private entrepreneurs in DCI.

Under current criteria, bidders must have at least 70% experience in government projects, without explicitly mentioning the need for experience in the operation and management of the ICD, which appears to disproportionately favor one group or a specific entity.

In Chattogram, there are 19 private ICDs, also called off-docks, which handle almost 95% of exported goods for shipments and 38 types of imported goods. ICDs help reduce congestion at Chattogram Port and facilitate rapid clearance of container-filled cargo by enabling unloading or delivery from areas outside the port.

Confirming the deal to The Business Standard (TBS), CPA Secretary Md Omar Farooq said the CPA had floated a fresh tender on September 12 as per the instructions of the Central Technical Procurement Unit ( CPTU).

After the tender notice was published on June 18, Bicda raised concerns about the current specifications outlined in the tender documents. They claim that these specifications appear to be biased in favor of public sector operators, which could put private ICD contractors at a disadvantage when participating in tenders.

ICD owners have requested the authorities concerned to provide opportunity to private ICDs to participate in the tender subject to required qualifications and experience. A letter was given on August 9 to the president of the CPA to object to certain conditions of the call for tenders.

Furthermore, Bicda leaders held a formal meeting with Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail, Chairman of the CPA.

Bicda pointed out in the letter that the tender did not require any experience or qualification in ICD operation to operate the Kamalapur ICD. There is no difference between the operational activities of container and cargo handling in Kamalapur ICD or any private ICD.

On the contrary, the scope and extent of operations of any private ICD related to storage and handling of export and import goods and cargo containers are much more than that of Dhaka Kamalapur ICD.

The letter also mentions that no private ICD will be able to participate in this call for tenders if the experience criteria mentioned in the call for tenders are maintained in force or unchanged. Bicda requested to revise the experience criteria in tenders for the recruitment of contractors to include experience in managing private ICDs.

Bicda Chairman Nurul Qayyum Khan said that private ICDs are working very effectively in the operation of Chattogram Port. The model of the Kamlapur ICD is also the same. It is therefore necessary to ensure that ICD owners can also participate in the tender.

“We hope that the new call for tenders will reflect our expectations,” he added.

During the financial year 2022-23, Chattogram Port handled 30,07,344 TEU of import and export containers. Of this, 94,254 TEUs are processed at Kamalapur ICD.

Five private ICDs participated in the tender for the management of Kamalapur ICD, namely Ispahani Summit Alliance Terminals Ltd, Chattogram Container Transportation Company Ltd, QNS Container Services Ltd, KDS Logistics Ltd and BM Container Depot Ltd.

Saif Powertec is currently engaged in container and cargo handling in Kamalapur ICD. The company is associated with Chattogram Port as the operator of two terminals – New Mooring Container Terminal and Chattogram Container Terminal.

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