ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port handled 5.734 million containers in 2016, up 10.6 percent from a year earlier, helped by a deep draught Chinese owned terminal, with 76 percent of the traffic coming from transhipment.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority said Colombo was ranked 23rd among top container ports in 2016, up from 26th by Alphaliner, a shipping industry information service.
Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) a unit of China’s CM Ports, handled 2.0 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016, up from 1.56 million a year earlier, helping boost Colombo volumes.
State-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority has two terminals which cannot handle large ships. Another private terminal, South Asia Gateway Terminals, makes up the balance units.
SLPA officials say CICT is expected to reach its capacity on 2.4 million TEUS by mid 2016.
SLPA said transhipment volumes grew 11.8 percent. Domestic container volumes rose 6.7 percent to 81,879 TEUs.
Among larger ports Colombo is one of the few ports to record double digit growth in container volumes.
Overall tonnage handled by Colombo rose 11.1 percent to 81,878 million tonnes in 2016 from 73,717 million tonnes in 2015.
Automobile transhipment at Hambantota and Colombo rose 29.8 percent to 150,921 units.