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Sri Lanka’s Colombo port gets in to container storage in Covid-19 crisis

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port has got into the business of storing containers as global shipping was disrupted during a Coronvirus crisis, which may also have longer term potential, an official said.

“There are a large number of ships going around with heavy container loads as there is no place to store them,” Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman retired General Daya Ratnayake, told an online forum organized by the National Chamber of Commerce.

“We at Colombo port are hiring the space available to us. That has become a fairly lucrative temporary business.”

“Some other shipping lines are discussing with us to sustain this business.”

He said Colombo port is getting new business opportunities because been fully operational throughout the Coronavirus crisis, when many ports were seeing days of delays for ships to turnaround.

As a result last initially ship calls had increase 2.4 percent though volumes are now falling as global trade is declining

“As a result we have developed and international brand name,” Ratnayake said. “None of the ships were delayed in Colombo.

Repositioning empty containers is a big cost of running shipping lines. Since developed countries like the US a big exporters of services and importers of capital, they import hard goods from Asian nations like China and run a merchandise trade deficits.

As a result empty containers have to be brought back to Asia. Some also need to be stored until sales teams bring business.

As a net services exporter, and with the government running a budget deficit with foreign debt also has a trade deficit. (Colombo/May13/2020)