Two back-to-back workshops held on 24 and 25 January 2024 at the Bhomra Land Port, Shatkhira, marked a significant step towards adopting the newly developed e-Port management system. The workshops facilitated crucial dialogue between public and private stakeholders – particularly among port operators and clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents – paving the way for a modernised, transparent, and efficient port operation.
Md. Zillur Rahman Chowdhury, Chairman of Bangladesh Land Port Authority (BLPA) opened the workshops by highlighting the transformative potential of digitalisation. He reiterated BLPA’s interest in digitalising all land ports and commended Swisscontact and the Alliance for their partnership in Bhomra’s digital transformation. He urged the implementers to strive for a replicable model that can be applied to future initiatives.
Joint Secretary and Project Director D M Atiqur Rahman elaborated on the critical role of electronic systems in port development and their positive impact on the national economy.
DataSoft, the developer of the e-Port system, and Swisscontact showcased the newly developed management software, followed by a Question-and-Answer session and feedback exchange. Over a hundred C&F representatives engaged actively, demonstrating their interest and providing valuable insights for further optimisation of the system.
On the second day, representatives of key port authorities such as the Bhomra Land Port, Customs, the plant and animal quarantine agency, the border security agency and the immigration department attended a detailed demonstration to better understand the e-Port management software operation. Banking and financial sector representatives, notably from One Bank Ltd., Sonali Bank, and Bangladesh Krishi Bank were also present during the demonstration.
The president and leadership of the Bhomra C&F Agent Association emphasised the importance of seamless cooperation between Customs, port authorities and other relevant service providers to make the most of the digital transformation. They promised continued support to the ongoing testing and hands-on training to ensure a smooth digital transition for all stakeholders.
Overall, the workshops received positive feedback from participants, with both public and private stakeholders applauding the transparency and efficiency promised by the digital system. This collaborative effort represents a significant step towards Bhomra Land Port’s digital future, offering improved trade facilitation and economic prosperity for Bangladesh.