The first direct freight route started as the Songa Cheetah container ship arrived from Raveena to Chittagong. This new shipping route will reduce cost and time as it will take only 16 days to transport the export goods. With two small vessels, Songa Cheetah and Cape Flores, Italian shipping operator Kalypso Compagnia di Navigazione SPA launched a new direct waterborne service between Chittagong and Ravenna port on Monday.
The Songa Cheetah is a Liberian flagship with a depth of 6.2 meters and a container capacity of around 1,100 TEUs, reached Chittagong on February 4th. Yesterday afternoon this vessel departed for Italy carrying 952 TEUs of export-laden cargo. For the first time, a container vessel is transporting export cargo from Bangladesh to Europe. According to shipping agencies, about 98% of the export materials are readymade clothing, while the other 2% are handicrafts, leather, and jute products. After reaching the Ravenna port, the export goods will get distributed to other European destinations depending on the buyers’ requirements.
On the other hand, Cape Flores landed at the Chattogram port on December 24 with several empty cargoes after a 16-day journey from Ravenna. However, this vessel was not carrying any export container on its way back.
This direct waterborne service, Songa Cheetah, made direct freight shipping from Bangladesh to Europe faster and less expensive. The president of BGMEA, Faruque Hassan, stated that this shipping service would reduce its cost by approximately 40 percent, as well as increase Bangladesh’s foreign trade opportunities. He also added that this ship would reach Europe in just 16 days, compared to the 40 to 45 days it takes to use transshipment ports.