EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s southern port of Hambantota plans to increase capacity for parking as vehicle transhipment volumes are growing fast with the number of car carriers rising by 85 percent this year, Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials said.
The SLPA said the port received 254 RO-RO (roll-on, roll-off) vessels, as vehicle carriers are known, from January to December this year compared with 137 vessels for the same period last year.
The total number of vehicles handled this year at the port rose 192 percent to 188,791 from 64,524 units in the same 2013 period.
An SLPA statement said only 37,631 vehicles were domestic cargo or imports with the number of vehicles for transhipment rising 400 percent to 151,160 from last year.
SLPA officials said the port’s location and attractive fees were drawing more shipping lines transporting vehicles made by auto majors with plants in India and East Asia.
Hambantota port now has a paved area of 12.5 hectares, enough to park 10,000 vehicles.
This is being increased by another 30 hectares to accommodate more vehicles, SLPA officials said.
Hambantota also offers 21 days free storage compared with only 14 days at Singapore port and a tariff rebate scheme started in 2012 that is being progressively reduced.