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Thursday June 20th, 2024

Sri Lanka to make Colombo ‘smart port’ with automated functions

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping ministry said it will spend 929 million rupees to modernise information technology at Colombo port to make it a ‘smart port’ with many automated functions to improve efficiency.

Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said he expects the process of IT upgrades to streamline terminal management and cargo systems to be completed in 12-18 months.

"There are many technical aspects to this. For instance, the upgraded Terminal Management System will include gate automation, yard automation, (and) quay side automation.”

The initiative will include using satellite-based DGPS or Differential Global Positioning Systems which provide improved location accuracy to make best use of container handling equipment within port terminals and increase productivity.

It will also include business intelligence tools, web portals and simulation tools, Ratnayaka said in a statement.

‘Smart ports’ globally use IT and data analytics to make the best use of available terminal space, equipment and time to become more competitive and attractive to customers.

"In layman’s terms, this means Colombo Port will operate with greater efficiency and handle a greater volume of activities within a shorter period of time with the use of advanced IT and information systems," Ratnayaka explained.

"Transforming Colombo into a Smart Port is a timely need."

A full-scale IT infrastructure drive is currently underway to transform Colombo — Sri Lanka’s busiest port — into a ‘smart port’.

Ratnayaka said 929 million rupees has been allocated for the project, which has been included in the Asian Development Bank-supported master plan for Sri Lanka’s port development.

Colombo’s transformation into a Smart Port will ensure the development of a collaborative approach that will make the port ‘smart’ in terms of flow, situation or customer management, Ratnayaka said.

"This is a long-drawn process that will happen over time with rapidly advancing technology. But our Smart Port initiative will lay the groundwork for the longer-term transformation with the right IT and tech infrastructure.

"What we need to understand is that being smart is a mindset,” Ratnayaka said.

“Colombo must embrace the Smart Port concept with the right frame of mind. This is not about upgrading IT and information systems and forgetting everything else. Cleanliness of the port, the attitude of workers, its administration and welfare should also be geared towards the same transformation," he added.
(Colombo/February 25/2019)
 

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Sri Lanka shares debt management experience at global forum

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has shared its experiences at a forum on debt management to “provide lessons for others”, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe has said.

Semasinghe spoke on “The Role of Debt Management in Navigating Crises” at the 14th Debt Management Facility (DMF) Stakeholders’ Forum, in Livingstone, Zambia.

“I shared the experiences of Sri Lanka which can provide valuable lessons for others and explored the critical elements of capacity building and sound institutional practices in managing debt, particularly in the context of economic challenges,” Semasinghe said on X (twitter).

“Sri Lanka’s experience demonstrates that effective debt management is not just about managing numbers but also about building robust institutions and capacities.”

The journey underscores the importance of transparent, accountable governance and the need for international support and cooperation in times of crisis, he said.

“Sri Lanka prioritized addressing gaps in public debt management by drafting a consolidated Public Debt Management Act, ensuring clarity and legal robustness and establishing a centralized Public Debt Management Office with operational autonomy.

“The role of debt management in navigating crises is multifaceted and critical. Further, by investing in capacity building, adhering to sound institutional practices, and strategically managing debt restructuring and liability operations, countries can better withstand economic shocks and pave the way for sustainable recovery.”

Developing countries face severe debt distress as they are more vulnerable to external shocks, Semasinghe said, and “managing global debt requires coordinated international efforts on debt restructuring where necessary, timely fiscal policy adaptation and help sustainable economic growth.”

The state minister also pointed out the financial impact of climate change was an emerging challenge, as countries need investment to mitigate and adapt to climate impacts, “especially through non-debt creating inflows, which would require private capital mobilization.” (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes stronger at 305.10/30 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed stronger ahead of the long weekend at 305.10/30 to the US dollar on Thursday, up from 305.40/55 to the US dollar Wednesday, dealers said, while some bond yields edged up.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.45/80 percent, up from 10.35/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.20/45 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.00/15 percent, up from 11.95/12.35 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.12.2031 closed at 12.05/25 percent.
(Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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Sri Lanka stocks close up, JKH trade pushes turnover

ECONOMYNEXT – The Colombo Stock Exchange closed up on Thursday, data on its site showed.

The broader All Share Index closed up 0.19 percent, or 23.11 points, at 12,249; while the more liquid S&P SL20 Index closed up 0.15 percent, or 5.33 points, at 3,610.

Turnover was 2 billion. Nearly half of this (Rs980mn) came from a crossing on John Keells Holdings Plc. The share closed down at 202.00.

“There were several crossings today which pushed turnover,” market participants said.

“Institutions and high net-worth activity drove the market, while the retail investors we feel are still about uncertain and adopting a wait-and-see approach.”

Melstacorp Plc was among the companies that saw active volumes (Rs194mn) in the day. The share closed up at 87.10.

Top contributors to the index included TeeJay Lanka Plc (up at 41.70), Sampath Bank Plc (up at 79.50), Hatton National Bank Plc (down at 201.00). Hayleys Plc (up at 105.00) and its subsidiary Hayleys Fabric Plc (up at 46.60) were also positive contributors. (Colombo/Jun20/2024)

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