Sri Lankaâ€™s CICT lures new service with Ultra Large Container Carrier
ECONOMYNEXT – One of the largest container ships afloat is expected to call at Sri Lanka for the first time next week, setting a new benchmark and record for the Port of Colombo, terminal operator Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) announced.
The company said it had secured a commitment for a scheduled service by Panama-registered MSC Maya at 19,224 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent container unit), the largest container ship to ever berth in Colombo.
The vessel is calling on Colombo as part of the Swan Service operating on a port rotation of Bremerhaven> Rotterdam> Suez> Colombo> Singapore> Hong Kong> Tianjin Xingang> Quingdao> Busan> Shanghai> Ningbo> Yantian> Tanjung Pelepas> Algeciras> Felixstowe.
The 395.49 metre (1,297 foot) vessel is expected at the Colombo South Terminal managed by CICT on Friday, September 16, replacing a smaller vessel owned by the global container shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Switzerland, a statement said.
“The arrival of the MSC Maya in Colombo is a perfect example for the rationale for a deep water terminal of the scale of the Colombo International Container Terminal,” CICT chief executive Ray Ren said.
“It was precisely to attract such Ultra Large Container Carriers that CICT fast-tracked the completion of the terminal, enabling it to commence operations 32 months ahead of schedule. We are now seeing the results of that achievement.”
CICT General Manager Commercial & Marketing Tissa Wickramasinghe said the company has introduced global best practices in terminal operations and set productivity benchmarks for the South Asian region.
“The Port of Colombo achieved double-digit growth in 2014 after a lapse of over 10 years with CICT coming onstream, and this year we are able to sustain double-digit growth due to our ability to attract more and more ULCC vessels such as MSC Maya to the Port of Colombo,” Wickramasinghe added.
“The benefit of these ship calls cascades down to the other terminals in the port, reinforcing Colombo’s status as a major transhipment hub.”
Built in 2015 by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, MSC Maya has a draft of 16 metres (52.49 feet) and a moulded beam of 59 metres (194 feet). It has a maximum speed of 22.8 knots (42 kmph).
CICT closed 2015 with 1.561 million TEUs, with the ULCC (Ultra Large Container Carrier) and VLCC (Very Large Container Carrier) segments making a 67% contribution to that volume.
“As a member of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited, the world’s second-largest global terminal operator by throughput, CICT has access to a wide network of 72 terminals operated and invested by CMPH across the globe, none of which are in any form of competition with the Port of Colombo,” the statement said.
CICT has already received some of the largest vessels plying the Asia-Europe routes. They include MSC New York (16,652 TEU), CMA CGM Marco Polo (16,020 TEU) and Edith Maersk, Estelle Maersk, Ebba Maersk, Elly Maersk and Eugene Maersk, each 14,770 TEUs. Many of these cargo ships are now regular callers at CICT.
(COLOMBO, Sept 9, 2016)