Rail costs between Dhaka and Chittagong are costs US$150-$260 per box, while trucks charge $300-$400.Today, six per cent of Bangladesh's container cargo is transported by rail, and officials say the new tracks will reduce transits 50 per cent.Bangladesh, currently in its seventh five-year plan, which covers 2016 to 2020, has set goal of a 15 per cent rail transport share by 2020. "Once transit time goes down, both importers and exporters will show increased interest in transportation through rail," said Bangladesh Railway
deputy traffic director Mainul Islam. He said the plan calls for three new inland container depots (ICD), one in the Pubail area in Gazipur district, where most containers are taken because it is a big garment centre and two others, one near the Bangabandhu Bridge west railway station, and the other in Chittagong."The Dhaka ICD won't be able to accommodate the load when container volume goes up significantly in a couple of years. So, we are building more ICDs," he said.He said a freight train undertook a trial run between Kolkata and Dhaka with 60 TEU, and will start a regular run within a month or two. "I foresee a major boost in container transportation in Bangladesh by rail in the coming days," said Mr Islam.Bangladesh's two seaports handled 2.6 million TEU in 2017, a figure that almost certainly will increase in 2018, and most of this cargo is trucked to and from inland points.