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Sri Lanka’s China-run port sees RO-RO vehicle transshipment racing ahead

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s China-run Hambantota port, which is emerging as a RO-RO transshipment hub said it seeing rapid growth in vehicle volumes amid while bulk cargo volumes had also grown 44 percent in 2020 amid a Coronavirus pandemic.

Total RO-RO units handled during 2020 fell to 388,031 from 411,027 amid as Coronavirus hit global shipping and Sri Lanka banned vehicle imports but transshipment have started to grow rapidly in recent months, Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said.

By December 2020 volumes had pickup up to 58,996 units 25.9 percent from December 2019, driven almost entirely by international volumes as imports dwindled to 215 units in 2020 from 4,214 a year earlier.

In January 2021 the port had handled 55,068 units, up 29 percent from a year earlier.

Vehicles coming from India, Korea, Japan and China are discharged at Hambantota for transshipment to the Middle East, South Africa and South America.

HIPG said it had engaged aggrieve marketing campaign and changed the RO-RO business model, which had brought results.

The port was also operating under Coronavirus health guidelines.

“Managing the high need for manpower for operations while ensuring that our employees were protected was one of our biggest priorities in the past year,” says Senior General Manager- Operations, Sylesh Peerez.

“We managed this successfully, on a roster basis, ensuring that we met the high demand while strictly adhering to Covid-19health and safety guidelines.”

Bulk cargo volumes had also grown 44 percent to 1.788 million tonnes helped by dry cargo and liquefied petroleum gas volumes. (Colombo/Mar07/2021)

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