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Chittagong Port releases Hapag-Lloyd boxship after US$364,000 payment

A chartered container ship by Hapag Lloyd got released from the Chittagong Port after L&B Hansa Feeders chiffe GmbH & Co KG, the vessel owner, paid US$364,000 for the accident in which the vessel hit a gantry crane and damaged it while taking berth at a port jetty.

The 1,718 TEU vessel remained detained by the port authority for 36 days due to delays in assessing the damage and losses incurred, and a court case. The boxship incurred a loss of US$20,000 per day as long as it remained detained.

Hapag-Lloyd deployed the Liberia-flagged vessel namely Hansa Rendsburg on the Chittagong-Colombo route in September to cut its dependence on other feeder ships.

The vessel on its maiden trip came to the outer anchorage of Chittagong port on 27 September and took berth at the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) on the following day. While taking berth at jetty five of the NCT the vessel hit and damaged a quay gantry crane slightly with a pilot of the Chittagong port driving the vessel.

On 20 October, the port authority’s chief engineer, Aminul Islam, asked the vessel owner to pay US$364,000 million for the damage incurred. Later, L&B Hansa Feederschiffe GmbH filed a case against the port’s claim, but the High Court gave a verdict in favour of the port.

After the owner deposited the money, the port authority released the vessel on 1 November.

Syed Md Arif, chairman of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA), said it was “very unfortunate” that a vessel had to remain detained for 36 days for “minimal” damage to a crane. He pointed out that the port authority could have released the vessel by receiving an undertaking.

By staying detained for a long, the vessel incurred a huge financial loss. “After this incident carriers will rethink the possible financial losses before deploying new vessels in the Chittagong route,” he noted.

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