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Sri Lanka port handles record four million containers
Dec 21, 2010 (LBO) – Colombo port volumes hit a new record of 4 million containers Tuesday supported by powerful development in both transshipment and import-export cargo, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) stated in a statement.

The quantity of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers handled by the port is up 20 % so far this year from a year ago.
It is also up 11 percent compared with the total of 3.68 million TEUs accomplished in 2008, the highest-ever functionality by the port ahead of recession hit worldwide trade.

SLPA managing director Nihal Keppetipola mentioned efficiency improvements and removal of safety restrictions with the end of a war had helped boost cargo volumes and reinforce Colombo’s status as south Asia’s hub port.

The number of import-export containers handed by Colombo is up 25 percent this year compared with final year even though transshipment cargo has improved by 18 percent, the SLPA said.

The state-run Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) handling its highest-ever monthly volume of 201,217 TEUs in August this year.

Keppetipola said a new computerised terminal operating program at the JCT costing 800 million rupees helped integrate all terminal operation and strategy and optimize speedy movement of containers amongst the gate and the quay.

This decreased dwell instances for containers and turnaround occasions for vessels, Keppetipola said.

A satellite-based communication system was also added to monitor container stacking

&#8220Last year we reopened the northern entrance, which had been closed for ten years due to safety motives, to facilitate smoother maritime transportation and to enhance productivity in the port,: he stated.

“This move put an finish to the navigation restrictions that have brought on congestion at the port causing delays in cargo handling and turn-about instances of vessels.”

Sri Lanka’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May possibly 2009, resulting in the withdrawal of war danger insurance surcharges and accelerating financial development.
The JCT has handled 2.1 million TEUs this year with the remaining 1.9 million TEUs handled by the privately-owned South Asia Gateway Terminals in which Sri Lankan conglomerate John Keells Holdings has a 42 % stake.

Keppetipola said the combined work of the state-run and privately-owned terminals was essential to Sri Lanka’s drive to turn out to be a major centre of shipping, trade and logistics in the region.

He said it was “an excellent test case of public-private partnership arrangements in the port management region.”
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