Port of Chittagong

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Chittagong Port
Stacking Intermodal container in Port of Chittagong (17).jpg
New Mooring Terminal
LocationChittagong, Chittagong Division
Coordinates22°18′47″N 91°48′00″E / 22.313°N 91.800°E / 22.313; 91.800Coordinates: 22°18′47″N 91°48′00″E / 22.313°N 91.800°E / 22.313; 91.800
Operated byChittagong Port Authority
Owned byGovernment of Bangladesh
Type of harbourArtificial / Natural
No. of berths19
ChairmanRear Admiral M Shahjahan
Annual cargo tonnage100M (2019–20)[2]
Annual container volume3.097M TEUs (2020–21)

The Chittagong Port (Bengali: চট্টগ্রাম বন্দর) is the main seaport of Bangladesh. Located in Bangladesh's port city of Chittagong and on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the port handles over 90 percent of Bangladesh's export-import trade,[3] and has been used by India, Nepal and Bhutan for transshipment.[4][5] According to Lloyd's, it ranked as the 58th busiest container port in the world in 2019.[6] The port is one of the oldest in the world, with a recorded history dating back to ancient Roman accounts.[7] It is the busiest container port on the Bay of Bengal.[8][9]

Congestion is a major challenge in Chittagong port. The port had a congestion rate of 84.3 hours between January and July in 2017.[10]


Dutch ships visiting Chittagong during the Mughal period in 1702
Ships moored off Chittagong in the late 1820s.

The Chittagong area has been a recorded seaport since the 4th century BCE. In the 2nd century, the harbor appeared on Ptolemy's map, drawn by the Greco-Roman cartographer Claudius Ptolemy. The map mentions the harbor as one of the finest in the Eastern world. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea documents trade between Chittagong and private merchants from Roman Egypt.[7]

Chittagong harbour, 1800s

Arab traders frequented Chittagong since the 9th century.[7] In 1154, Al-Idrisi noted that merchants from Baghdad and Basra regularly travelled to Chittagong.[11] Arab traders played an important role in spreading Islam in the region. The port appears in the travelogues of Chinese explorers Xuanzang and Ma Huan. The Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta and the Venetian traveler Niccolo De Conti visited the port in the 14th century. The historical port had ship trade with Africa, Europe, China and Southeast Asia.

The Portuguese settlement in Chittagong centered on the port in the 16th and 17th centuries. After the Portuguese were expelled, Chittagong came under the rule of the Mughal Empire and was named Islamabad.[12] It became an important shipbuilding center, catering to the Mughal and Ottoman navies. After the rise of British dominance in Bengal following the Battle of Plassey and Battle of Buxar, the Nawab of Bengal ceded the port to the British East India Company in 1772.[13]


Chittagong port in 1960
Chittagong Port Authority Administrative Building

The modern Chittagong port was organized in 1887 under the Port Commissioners Act in the British Indian Empire. The port began formal operations under a commissioner in 1888. Its busiest trade links were with British Burma, including the ports of Akyab and Rangoon;[14] and other Bengali ports, including Calcutta, Dhaka and Narayanganj.[15] In the year 1889–90 the port handled exports totalling 125,000 tons.[16] The Strand Road was built beside the harbour. Between 1905 and 1911, Chittagong was the chief seaport of Eastern Bengal and Assam. It was made the terminus of the Assam Bengal Railway. Hence, the port's hinterland included all of colonial Assam (modern Northeast India). Trade between British India and British Burma rapidly increased in the early 20th century. The Bay of Bengal became one of the busiest shipping hubs in the world, rivaling the traffic of ports on the Atlantic.[17] In 1928, the British government declared Chittagong as a "Major Port" of British India.[18] Chittagong was important for the petroleum industry that developed in Assam and Burma. It was used for jute and rice trading. During World War II, Chittagong port was used by Allied Forces in the Burma Campaign.

After the partition of British India, the governor general of the Dominion of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, visited Chittagong and stressed its importance and future potential.[19] The Chittagong Port Trust was formed in East Pakistan in 1960. 100 employees of the Chittagong Port were killed during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.[18] The Soviet Pacific Fleet was tasked with mine clearing and salvage operations in the port after the war.[20] The port has benefited from the growth of heavy industry and logistics in the Chittagong Metropolitan Area in the years following independence. Trade unionism was strong in the late 1990s.

A major expansion took place with the construction of the New Mooring Terminal in the first decade of the 21st century.[21]


The Chittagong Port Authority is responsible for the port's management.



Container handling in Chittagong Port
Type of berth Quantity of berths[22] Notes
General cargo berths 6
Container berths 14
Dolphin Oil Jetty 3 For handling crude and product oil vessels of up to 186 meters
Grain Silo Jetty 1 Vessels up to 186 meters
Cement Clinker Jetty 1 Cement Clinker Jetty
TSP 1 Vessel up to 175.25 meters
Chittagong Urea Fertilizer Jetty 1 Vessels up to 176 meters and can be loaded up to maximum draft of 8.5 meters
KAFCO Urea Jetty 1 Vessel having LOA of 186 meters will be allowed to take berth at KAFCO (Urea)
KAFCO Ammonia Jetty 1 Vessel having LOA up to 186 meters at KAFCO (Ammonia) jetties can be loaded up to a maximum draft of 9.2 meters.
Dry Dock Jetties 3
River Mooring No. 3 1 Vessels up to 182.9 LOA and 7.76 meters draft for edible oil and POL in bulk
River Mooring No. 8 1 Vessels up to 186 meters and 8 meters draft for vegetable oil carrier
River Mooring No. 9 1 Vessels up to 186 meters and 6 meters draft for repair of vessel / laying off.
River Mooring No. 10 1 Vessels up to 145 meters LOA and 7.5 meters draft for repair of vessel / laying off.
UTTJ (United Tank Terminal Jetty) 1 Commissioning for loading and unloading operation of oil tanker/vessel since July' 2020.
Industries along the port on the Karnaphuli River

Container terminals[edit]

Many private container terminals like this one have been set up near the port

The port depends on several container terminals, most of which are owned by private companies.

  • New Mooring Terminal
  • Chittagong Container Terminal
  • KDS Logistics Terminal[23]
  • Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) Terminal[24]
  • Summit Alliance Container Terminal[25]
  • Vertex Off Dock Logistic Terminal
  • QNS Container Terminal
  • Shafi Motors Terminal
  • K & T Logistic Terminal
  • Esack Brothers Terminal
  • Chittagong Container Transportation Company Limited Terminal
  • Port Link Logistic Terminal
  • M/s. Incontrade Terminal
  • M/s. Golden Container Terminal
  • M/s. Saber Ahmed Timber Terminal
  • M/s. Eastern Logistics Terminal
  • B. M. Container Terminal
  • Nemsan Container Terminal

Industrial terminals[edit]

The Eastern Refinery


The BNS Somudra Joy is one of two cutters used by the Bangladesh Navy to patrol waters off the port

The Bangladesh Coast Guard is responsible for security in the vicinity of the port.

Naval and air base[edit]

The Bangladesh Navy's largest naval base, the BNS Issa Khan, and the Bangladesh Naval Academy are located in Chittagong port. The port is the home base of the most of the Bangladesh Navy fleet, including its submarine fleet. The Chittagong Naval Area often hosts joint exercises with the navies of other countries, as well as visiting foreign naval vessels. A missile launch pad is located near the port.[27] The Bangladesh Air Force maintains its BAF Zahurul Haq Air Base near the port. In addition, the Bangladesh Navy operates an airborne maritime surveillance wing.


The year 2000 had the highest number of Piracy attacks in the recorded history of Chittagong. Many of the raids resulted in the theft of mooring lines and Zinc anode and other movable ship equipments. In 2005 it had the highest pirate attacks in a port area in the world. The Government of Bangladesh has increased Navy and Coast Guard presence in the area.[28] According to ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships-2019 Report, incidents in Bangladesh have fallen significantly over the past few years because of the effort of Bangladesh Authorities.[29] There was no incident of piracy or armed robbery in 2019.[29]


At night on 4 June 2022, the BM Inland Container Depot, a Dutch-Bangladesh joint venture broke out following explosions in a container full of chemicals. The fire continued to spread and the explosions shattered the windows of nearby buildings. It was felt as far as 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away. At least 9 firefighters from Bangladesh fire service and civil defense were reported dead and the death toll reached to 49 by Sunday evening.[30]

See also[edit]

List of Ports in Bangladesh


  1. ^ "UN/LOCODE (BD) - Bangladesh". UNECE. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  2. ^ চট্টগ্রাম বন্দরের কন্টেইনার হ্যান্ডলিং পরিসংখ্যান [Container Handling Statististics of Chittagong Port] (in Bengali). Chittagong Port Authority.
  3. ^ "Import, export through Chittagong Port up in May". The Business Standard. 6 June 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2022.
  4. ^ "Nepal first to use Ctg port". The Daily Star. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  5. ^ "India and Bangladesh begin transhipment operations". Fairplay.ihs.com. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Ctg Port 58th among 100 busiest ports". The Daily Star.
  7. ^ a b c Ring, Trudy; Watson, Noelle; Schellinger, Paul, eds. (2012). Asia and Oceania: International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-136-63979-1.
  8. ^ "RSGT Nominated to Operate New Patenga Container Terminal at Chittagong Port | Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide".
  9. ^ https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/bangladeshs-trump-card-in-its-diplomacy-of-balance/#:~:text=The%20vitality%20of%20the%20port,container%20ports%20in%20the%20world.
  10. ^ "Congestion paralyzes Chittagong port". Joc.com. 5 June 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Chittagong City". Banglapedia. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  12. ^ Stewart, Charles (1813). The History of Bengal, from the First Mohammedan Invasion Until the Virtual Conquest of that Country by the English, A.D. 1757. Black, Parry. pp. 245–.
  13. ^ "Chittagong | Bangladesh". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  14. ^ J. Forbes Munro (2003). Maritime Enterprise and Empire: Sir William Mackinnon and His Business Network, 1823-93. Boydell Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-85115-935-5.
  15. ^ Willis's Current notes. London: G. Willis. 1886. p. 16.
  16. ^ Tauheed, Q S (1 July 2005). "Forum for planned Chittagong's search for its conservation -I". The Daily Star. Dhaka. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  17. ^ "The Bay of Bengal: Rise and Decline of a South Asian Region". 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2017 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ a b "Chittagong Port Authority". Banglapedia. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  19. ^ Z. H. Zaidi; Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project (2001). Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers: Pakistan : pangs of birth, 15 August-30 September 1947. Quaid-i-Azam Papers Project, National Archives of Pakistan. p. 34. ISBN 978-969-8156-09-1.
  20. ^ "Soviet Naval Presence In The Indian Ocean" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  21. ^ New Mooring container terminal opens (19 October 2015). "New Mooring container terminal opens". Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Chittagong Port Overview and Other Inland Transportation" (PDF). USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.
  23. ^ "KDS launches Tk 300cr ICD in Chittagong". The Daily Star. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  24. ^ "Terminals & Facilities". OOCL. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  25. ^ "FMO and IDCOL combine for port infrastructure loan in Bangladesh_N". TXF News. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  26. ^ "New oil storage terminal in BD". Banglanews24.com. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Bangladesh building missile arsenal". The Times of India. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  28. ^ Hill, Peter Corbet. Inclusions by: Peter (2009). A modern plague of pirates : modern piracy in the 21st Century ; protect your ship and your crew ; a practical guide for avoiding contemporary piracy on the high seas ([Version 1.3 updated February 2009] ed.). East Mersea: Offshore and Marine Publ. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-9562107-0-8.
  29. ^ a b "Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships" (PDF). ICC International Maritime Bureau. January 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  30. ^ Alam, Julhas (5 June 2022). "At least 49 dead in 2nd day of Bangladesh cargo depot fire". Washington Post.

External links[edit]