25 May Colombo Port terminal operators reassure global customers
- SLPA, CICT, SAGT and CASA issue joint statement
- Container handling in first four months up 4.3%
The Colombo Port’s terminal operators along with shipping lines’ agents yesterday reassured global customers that it is business as usual in the South Asian hub despite the ongoing economic and political crisis and social unrest.
The reassurance came jointly via a statement and amidst reports claiming global lines were scaling down operations to Colombo and domestic crises hampering productivity.
“The Management of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), the terminals Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd (CICT), South Asia Gateway Terminals Ltd (SAGT) together with CASA (Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents) yesterday assured global Shipping Lines and Operators of Container and Conventional services of operations being carried out uninterrupted and at normal and expected levels in the Port of Colombo despite the economic and political crisis situation in the country,” the joint statement said.
It said continued and unhindered operations at the Port is also receiving attention at the highest level of the Government consequent to the appointment of a new Prime Minister last week.
The Port of Colombo (POC), being identified as an essential service, catering to vital transshipment, exports, imports and related logistics services which are the backbone of the economy of Sri Lanka, has received and is assured of an uninterrupted supply of electricity and fuel to maintain the demand required.
Shipping services are essential service exports and contribute immensely to the Sri Lankan economy and hence the shipping community stresses the importance of Colombo as a regional transhipment hub.
Inter-terminal trucking between terminals and transport for logistics services to move domestic laden and empty containers are receiving priority and connections for transshipment containers are able to make their targets on carriers without misses. Clearance of imports and export shipments are moving at desired levels notwithstanding delays in the clearance of some import cargoes due to a shortage of foreign currency.
The Port trade unions acknowledge the vital importance of the sector for economic sustenance and revival of the country and the management of SLPA and the private terminals, CICT and SAGT are confident that they would be in a position to meet the economic challenges and ensure service delivery to customers.
In terms of performance, the statement said the POC continues to grow and figures for the first four months up to April reflect an overall growth in volumes of 100,356 TEU ( 4.3% ) and in transhipment 92,099 TEU (5%) over the same period of 2021 – recording steady progress while continuing to play a pivotal role as a regional transhipment hub with strategic intent and plans being developed to expand capacity and services to evolve to a regional shipping centre second to none.