The transport sector of Bangladesh consists of a variety of modes. As the country is essentially a flat plain all three modes of surface transport, i.e. road, railway and water, are widely used in carrying both passengers and cargo. The airline network is also extensive and effective.
In Bangladesh, among the various modes of transport, road transport system has been playing a significant role in transporting passengers and goods.
Bangladesh is well connected to many destinations around the world. The national flag carrier Biman flies to 26 international and eight domestic destinations.
There are now 13 operational airports and Short Take-off and Landing (STOL) ports in Bangladesh. These are Dhaka, Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla, Cox’s Bazar, Ishurdi, Jessore, Rajshahi, Syedpur, Sylhet and Thakurgaon. Of these, the airports at Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet serve international routes. Air cargo and STOL services have been handed over to the private sector by the government.
The Bangladesh Railway provides an efficient service to places of interest such as Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Mymensingh, Bogra, Rajshahi, Dinajpuir starting from Dhaka. The inter-city Express Service is available to and from important cities at cheap fares.
About 32% of the total area of Bangladesh is effectively covered by railways. Bangladesh Railway had a total network of 2,835.04 km (Broad Gauge
659.33 km, Dual Gauge 374.83 km and Meter Gauge-1,800.88 km) and a total of 440 stations at the end of the year 2008-2009. Train services between Dhaka-Kolkata have been commenced on 14 April 2008 in order to establish communication between Bangladesh and India. After inclusion of railway track over the Jamuna Bridge, railway link between east and west zone has been established.
Country made crafts are the most widely used carriers on the rivers. These carry passengers and merchandise on a large scale. The landscape of Bangladesh is dominated by about 250 major rivers which flow essentially north-south. The alluvial flood plain formed by these rivers covers most of the country. Wherever there is a river and a village, a launch or steamer will ply for trade.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has been established by the government for maintenance of navigability of ports and channels while the state-owned BIWTC provides passenger and cargo services in inland waterways and coastal areas of the country.
The entire coast along the Bay of Bengal is 710 km long. There are two major ports in the country. Chittagong, the oldest port, has been an entry-port for at least 1,000 years. The Mongla port in Khulna region serves the western part of Bangladesh.