Sri Lanka truckers strike disrupts port cargo movements

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – A strike by Sri Lankan truckers has disrupted container cargo movements in and out of Colombo port, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said.

The strike led by the Container Transport Owners’ Association blocked port gates and was aimed at protesting against a move by the authorities to allow more trucks to serve what they said was a congested port.

The chamber said in a joint statement with its affiliates, the Import Section, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Shippers Council, the strike brought import and export cargo clearance to a standstill.

They noted this is the second time in the last three months that truck operators have resorted to such disruption, "creating immense hardships to the trade."

The statement deplored the "irresponsible actions" of truckers and called for disputes to be resolved through discussions.

"We are also very concerned that such interruptions take place when the port is heading towards handling the seasonal demand and when all efforts are being made by the government as well as the business community to enhance exports, positioning Colombo as one of the most efficient ports in South Asia."