Fate of Bangladeshi cargoes unknown


The fate of a number of Europe-bound garment consignments remained unknown until yesterday even though five days have passed since the fire at a container vessel of Maersk Line in the Arabian Sea.

Sarwar Alam Chowdhury, head of operations of Maersk Line Bangladesh, said they did not get any message from the principal liner about the state of the cargoes.

It may take time to get the message as all cargoes have to be discharged, he added.

The country office of Maersk Line did not disclose the amount of Bangladeshi cargoes the vessel was carrying. But four freight forwarders — EAS Ltd, Well Freight Logistics Services, Premier Global Link and Sea Shipping Incorporation — said they had loaded eight TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) containers altogether on the ill-fated Maersk Honam.

EAS Ltd shipped four TEUs containers loaded with 1,648 cartons of garment products valued at $2.33 lakh. The goods were supplied by a Savar-based garment factory and were bound for the Italian port of La Spezia.

The garment exporter is worried about the goods as no detail about the fate of the goods is known yet, said Khairul Alam Sujan, a director of EAS Ltd.

Well Freight Logistics Services had loaded one TEU container of garment items handed over by a factory based in Dhaka for delivery to Spain, said Shahidul Hoque, manager of the freight forwarder.

He said they have kept close contact with the shipping liner but did not get any information on whether their cargo was damaged or not.

In a news update on Friday, Maersk Line said it was still too early to determine the cause of the fire and its impact on the vessel or cargoes.

An Indian Coast Guard vessel began the fire-fighting on Thursday and a few more specialised vessels joined it the following day.