Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in Bangladesh

The shipping of goods and cargo takes place to, from and within Bangladesh via air, water and land. The country’s major port on the Indian Ocean is the Port of Chittagong, located about 12 miles inland from the mouth of the Karnaphuli River, which is an important centre of communications for the country. Owned by the Chittagong Port Authority, the centre handles the vast majority of the country’s imports and exports. The Chittagong Port Authority owns and operates ten berths for general cargo and six berths for containerised cargo, along with an oil jetty, a grain silo jetty and a few other specialised jetties. It has reasonable warehouse facilities and the berths have holding capacity for almost 10,000 TEUs of containerised cargo and 18 storage yards covering more than 200,000 sq m.

The other principal port is located at Mongla, which also possesses global trade links. The Mongla Port Authority operates a constraint free large channel for anchorage and has an annual handling capacity of around 6.5 million tons of cargo and efficient stevedoring facilities. Both of the main ports are connected to the hinterland by road and river.

The country has seen substantial expansion in its road network, although the majority remains unpaved and there are concerns about lack of adequate resource allocation for maintenance. The extensive waterway network, with over 3000 km of main cargo routes, is vital to the infrastructure of the country. Indeed with around 700 rivers and tributaries, Bangladesh has one of the largest inland waterway networks in the world, with inland ports handling around 40% of the nation’s foreign trade (2012). The waterway network connects almost all of the country’s major cities, towns and commercial centres, although it shrinks during the dry season.

The country also has three international airports, five domestic airports and seven short take-off and landing ports. Although primarily a passenger railway, Bangladesh Railways, a government owned and managed operation, also operates as a mode of freight transportation, mainly along the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor, the central trade route in the country.

Major companies in operation include the East Coast Group and United Sea Liner. The Bangladesh Shipping Agents’ Association and the Association of Cargo Agents of Bangladesh (ACAB) are leading representative bodies in the sector.

In 2010 imports of goods to the country were valued at €20.5 billion, whilst exports of goods were valued at €11.0 billion. The major import partners are China and India, with a share of 17.2% and 14.2% respectively (2010). The export market is dominated by the European Union, with a share of 51.3%, followed by the United States with 22.3%, leaving the third largest market, Canada, with only 3.8% (2010).

Many companies in Bangladesh are on hand to provide freight-forwarding, shipping, logistical and customs agency services. The Ministry of Shipping oversees the shipping and port sectors, including national waterways, inland water transport, ports, ocean shipping, safety and environmental matters. Other aspects of infrastructure, such as the Roads Division, are under the mandate of the Ministry of Communication.

Freight, Shipping and Logistics organisations in Bangladesh
Ministry of Shipping
Ministry of Shipping