Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port signs deals with vehicle carriers

ECONOMYNEXT – Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said it has signed Terminal Service Agreements (TSAs) with top players in the shipping industry to attract more vehicle cargo to the southern coast harbour

It signed a two-year TSA with Hyundai Glovis in January this year, followed by another TSA with Norwegian shipping company, Hoegh Line, and another international player for ‘RORO’ or roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo business, a statement said.

Vehicle carrier Glovis Sun sailing under the Marshall Islands flag helped Hambantota port, run by CM Port, reach its highest discharge volumes to date, when 5,000 transshipment vehicles were discharged in record time last month, it said.

“The discharge operation was completed 22 hours prior to the expected time and the vessel was able to depart well before schedule the following day,” the statement said.

“The Glovis Sun was on a very tight schedule, therefore, the efficiency and quality service of the operation was an outstanding achievement for the port, especially on a vessel with such high volume,” said Tissa Wickramasinghe, Chief Operating Officer of HIPG.

Ever since HIPG initiated talks for a TSA with Glovis and terms were agreed on, the shipping line’s volumes have been on the increase, as it took into account the port’s modern equipment, expertise, and service quality, the statement said.

“After HIPG took over, facilities for RORO operations have been streamlined making it an attractive destination for transhipment,” said Lalindra Fernando, Director of Sharaf Shipping Agency, local agents for Hyundai Glovis.

“Hyundai Glovis, which mainly brings in vehicles from the east coast of India, has seen a growth in volumes and with the safety standards in the port being maintained, we believe that we can grow our business from HIP.”

A TSA with Hoegh Line, especially known for the transportation of heavy vehicles, was signed in February 2019. 

“Since HIP came under the CMPort umbrella, Hoegh has rekindled their interest in the port, doing more than 10,000 units in 2018 – a marked increase from 6500 units in 2017,” the statement said.

 It has channeled 8000 units via HIPG in the last six months alone.
(COLOMBO, May 02, 2019-SB)
 

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