ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Colombo port expects to handle six million containers this year, most of which would be transhipment traffic, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) chairman Parakrama Dissanayake said.
Colombo’s throughput grew 10.6 percent in 2016 to 5.74 million TEUs or twenty-foot equivalent container units) in 2016, with transhipment up 12 percent, according to SLPA data.
The continued strong growth in container volumes was a result of the vision of the SLPA over the years and investment in upgrading infrastructure, despite changes in minsters, chairmen and boards of directors, Dissanayake said.
“When the Colombo South Harhour feasibility study was planned in 2002, people felt this was a pipe dream but today it has become a reality,” Dissanayake told the 19th Symposium of the International Network of Affiliated Ports in Colombo.
“Colombo is the only port in the region that can handle ultra-large container carriers,” Dissanayake said. “The SLPA has been far ahead of the competition.”
Much of the growth in container volumes has come from Colombo’s deep draught berths led by Chinese-owned Colombo International Container Terminal, in which SLPA has a stake, which have been attracting larger box ships.
Dissanayake, who took over the chairmanship of INAP, said the meeting in Colombo was being held amid a challenging environment for ports and the maritime industry.
The two day international maritime conference is being held with the participation of eight countries including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority held INAP’s first international symposium in 1998 with the participation of six ports within the region after a decision made at the commissioning of the new Port of Kochi in Japan that year to create an opportunity for all affiliated ports to meet together.
(COLOMBO, November 08, 2017)