5:18 pm - Saturday June 14, 1603

Apparel orders shifted to other countries: Buyers frustrated

Frustrated foreign buyers have shifted their apparel orders to other countries as violence on Dhaka-Chittagong highway increases amid political unrest. An attack on the transports by the miscreants during blockade, one of them carrying three foreign buyers, in the capital several days ago prompted the buyers to take such quick decision.

After tragic death of 1,245 workers in RanaPlaza collapse and fire incident at Tazreen Fashions, the prevailing political unrest and violence have aggravated the uncertainty among the buyers, garment industry entrepreneurs said.

truck on fire on Dhaka-Ctg HaighwayBangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) have sent letters to its members seeking information about the amount of their losses in the on-going political violence.

Receiving the letters, 26 apparel factories submitted their reports to BGMEA by December 15. Meanwhile, the amount of losses would be about $ 50 lakh due to cancellation of orders, costly airfreight, late in shipment and excessive carrying cost.

Though some cargo lorries were sent to Chittagong port under special security squads of the government, it is far from the regular performance, BGMEA President Atiqul Islam said.

Buyers, who already booked their orders in Bangladesh, have been pressing the factory owners about shipment in time, Atiqul said.

Sources said, American buyer group Eagle ordered Opex to supply 5,00,000 lakh pieces of dresses but after few days they cancelled the order citing violence and political uncertainty. The order was shifted to Indonesia.

Another American buyer cancelled the order for $ 5,90,000 given to Landmark group for delaying shipment.

BGMEA said, 1,32,000 tonnes of dresses were delivered through air cargo between January and September, for which the entrepreneur had to spend additional amount of crores of taka.

An entrepreneur wishing not to be named said, the buyers pay the shipping cost when the consignments are sent by sea.  But they do not pay if sent by air, rather the cost is born by the manufacturers.

Vice-president of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) Muhammad Hatem said, 4,000 to 5,000 covered vans carry export items by Dhaka- Chittagong highway normally. But now the number is 400 trucks, that too under heavy security.